via The Herald-Dispatch

CHARLESTON — Recent talk of combining metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) in southern West Virginia sounds like a good idea, but from a practical standpoint it’s a lot different, according to Terrell Ellis, executive director of Advantage Valley.

Advantage Valley Inc. is a private nonprofit economic development organization representing the Charleston and Huntington metropolitan statistical areas. The region includes Boone, Cabell, Clay, Kanawha, Lincoln, Putnam, Mason, Jackson and Wayne counties.

“The United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the U.S. Census Bureau control MSA designations,” said Terrell Ellis, executive director of Advantage Valley in Charleston. “I think some people think you can just call up our congressional delegation and try to make that happen. But in our research it was made clear to us that OMB will not take into consideration local preferences and local requests. In fact, they changed their regulations in the past decade to prohibit local comment from coming into play in regard to MSA consolidation.”

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