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Janesville/Beloit Metro Facing Downgrade; Economic Fears

Fears of slowed economic growth have emerged in Janesville and Beloit, as a proposal to downgrade the area from a metropolitan area to a micropolitan area has emerged. WKOW reports that the Janesville/Beloit Metropolitan Statistical Area is one of 144 MSAs facing demotion to a micropolitan area by federal officials. The new requirements would mandate that a metro area have at least 100,000 residents in the primary city, double the current 50,000. Cities between 50,000 and 100,000 would become micropolitan areas. City leaders in the Janesville area are fearful of the economic impact, worried that growth would cease. The City wrote a letter to federal officials asking for the policy to be rejected, stating it could have an effect on the city’s housing, community and economic development, and transportation. An MSA listing helps cities attract national attention. In addition to Janesville/Beloit, four other metros in Wisconsin face a downgrade: Wausau/Weston, Oshkosh/Neenah, Sheboygan, and Fond du Lac.