Eight cities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania applied for the City Revitalization and Improvement, or CRIZ, program in 2013.
After thousands of letters, the City of Erie was not given the bid this year. Instead, it went to Bethlehem and Lancaster.
As disappointed as he was that the city was not selected, Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott is not discouraged.
"With only taking two cities, we knew it would be highly competitive," said Mayor Sinnott. "We got some feedback that they got a very good application. I think that will make us very competitive in the next round. Especially when you consider the bayfront, which Harrisburg is very aware that that's our priority here."
One question many began asking once the announcement was made is will the lack of the CRIZ impact the Scott Enterprises Harbor Place Project?
"Harbor Place is going forward with the CRIZ, without the CRIZ," said Nick Scott, Sr., CEO of Scott Enterprises. "But it would be much better with the CRIZ. It'd be much sooner and grander."
Scott was disappointed with the decision, as well. But said he wasn't too surprised after hearing some buzz about the eventual winning cities.
"Hearing that so far in advance, you just kind of wonder - how does it happen that way? Did they really get a chance to evaluate our submission?"
So did politics play a role in deciding who received the bid for the CRIZ Program? Neither Mayor Sinnott nor Scott would say. But we do know that a politician from Lancaster came up with the idea for the program.
Scott did say, though, it is time Harrisburg starts giving some attention to Northwestern Pennsylvania.
"I think it's important the citizenry speak out, and legislatures, and say, 'don't forget us up here in NWPA. We're your only lark port, we're a great growing area.'"
Governor Tom Corbett is encouraging Erie, and the other cities that didn't make it this time, to reapply. He's even offering to help with applications.
The next time the bids will be considered is in 2015. Scott is hoping the governor will look at the bids, and award more cities, before then.