WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - City Council in Wilmington voted Tuesday night to ask the federal government to bring Brunswick County back into it's local metropolitan area.
The unanimous vote approved a resolution requesting the Federal Office of Management and Budget reconsider re-designating Brunswick County into the Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Wilmington city council members are upset that officials moved Brunswick County, based on the 2010 census numbers. The resolution approved by city council included census data, saying it "clearly shows that the vast majority (more than 4 to 1) of commuting workers in Brunswick County commute in far larger numbers to the Wilmington/New Hanover area than to the Myrtle Beach/Horry County area.."
Wilmington's Mayor Bill Saffo said earlier that none of the elected officials in our region were notified about the change. The Wilmington MSA now consists of New Hanover and Pender Counties with Wilmington serving as the principal city. That means the US Census Bureau will calculate Brunswick County's population, income and demographics into Myrtle Beach.
"It's a very big deal. As economic development teams look at Wilmington or companies look to move to Wilmington they look at those MSA numbers. They look at that population. If Brunswick County is taken into Myrtle Beach MSA it hurts our overall economic development climate here," said Saffo.
Wilmington city council members aren't the only ones concerned about the MSA change. New Hanover County and Brunswick County commissioners may also discuss similar resolutions.