by Andrea Cole

Associate Editor

Stow -- City officials are proposing a tax break to help a Cuyahoga Falls company move its business, which has 120 employees, to a vacant Hudson Drive facility.

According to Karvo Paving President George Karvounides, the company wants to move into the former Excelsior Marking building at 4524 Hudson Drive. He expects the entire project, including the purchase of the building and renovations, to cost more than $1 million.

"This will help [Stow] significantly," said Stow Planning Director Ken Trenner, who declined to give the payroll amount the company would bring to the city.

Karvounides said the company would use the 60,000-square-foot building on Hudson Drive and add a 5,264-square-foot facility to the site. Plans also call for adding 35 parking spaces.

The existing building and the addition would be used for offices and equipment repair, maintenance and storage, said Karvounides, adding his company does highway and municipal road construction.

The building has been vacant for more than a year, Stow Economic Development Coordinator Chuck Wiedie said. Karvo Paving is located at 3432 State Road in Cuyahoga Falls.

"We like the location because it's close to the freeway, and we like the [industrial] zoning," he said. "We have outgrown our current facility."

Karvo Paving currently has 120 employees, and Karvounides expects to hire between 10 and 15 by the summer of 2008.

Wiedie said a tax incentive agreement between Karvo Paving, the city and the Stow-Munroe Falls School District is expected to be discussed during the School Board's June 25 meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m.

"We are working on a program allowing for relocation, but the particulars of the program have not been worked out," said Wiedie.

Karvounides said the tax incentive agreement is "a big factor in moving."

"If it is not approved, we would definitely need to re-evaluate our position and our options," he said.

The company is not considering moving to any other cities, said Karvounides.

If the School Board approves the agreement, the proposal would be discussed during Stow City Council's July 26 Finance Committee meeting. The tax incentive agreement would need approval from Council.

Wiedie said because the business would relocate, Stow officials were required by the Ohio Revised Code state law to give the city of Cuyahoga Falls 30 days notification before plans were submitted to Stow City Council. Cuyahoga Falls Community Development Director Sue Truby did not return calls by press time.

Wiedie said he hopes Karvo Paving is able to move into the facility.

"The building is very chopped up and has three floors," he said. "It would take a very special use. It's not conducive to normal manufacturing or general office. This company has a vision of what it wants to do to renovate the building."