Officials in Twin Falls say they were surprised to learn that the south-central Idaho area has been designated an official urban region years sooner than expected.
City Manager Travis Rothweiler tells the Times-News in a Thursday story that he found about the new designation after an economist reached out to the city saying she had seen an alert while reading a bulletin in the newspaper.
A "metropolitan statistical area" must have at least one urbanized area population of 50,000 or more, as well as adjacent communities with a high degree of social and economic integration with the city.
Rothweiler says he had anticipated receiving the designation after the 2020 census.
Getting the designation sooner than anticipated means the city of Twin Falls, Twin Falls County and Jerome County must follow new public transportation and connectivity requirements.