York City's CRIZ Authority is alive and well.
The seven-member board was born at a York City Council meeting in late November — just days before the city's application for a City Revitalization Improvement Zone designation was due to the state.
Even though York failed in its attempt to snag one of the first two zones, the city's authority is holding public meetings each month to prepare for the next round of applications.
York was one of five cities that competed for the zones, a program that aims to attract business and jobs to cities by offering developers state and city tax revenue to pay off project debt.
The state awarded the first two zones to Lancaster and Bethlehem.
The legislation that created CRIZ establishes a possible second round of designations for 2016, followed by one designation each year after that.
Proposals: But several legislators, including some from York County, are working to amend that law.
A bipartisan coalition is backing House Majority Whip Rep. Stan Saylor's proposal that would give two more Pennsylvania cities a chance at the designations this year.
Meanwhile, a proposal in the state Senate would authorize the creation of 15 additional zones before 2016.
If those proposals move forward, it is possible the state could open the next round of applications as soon as this summer, said Michael Doweary, York's assistant business administrator.
"Whether or not that happens, who knows?" he said. "But that'll be here before you know it."
With the city administration's backing, the authority's members have decided to educate themselves about the CRIZ program and York's application "so that when the time comes that (the state) would accept another application, we want to be ready to do that promptly," said Bob Pullo, who is chairing the authority.
The CRIZ Authority has met three times so far, Pullo said. The first few meetings focused on organizational tasks, such as electing officers, he said.
Now, the goal is to learn as much as possible about the CRIZ program and York's economic-development strategy before the next round of applications opens, Pullo said.
A meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 1 will include presentations from Downtown Inc and the York County Planning Commission.
Otherwise, the authority plans to meet at 4 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in council chambers at City Hall, 101 S. George St.
— Reach Erin James at firstname.lastname@example.org.