by Andrea Cole

Associate Editor

Stow -- Construction of the Route 8 and Seasons Road interchange is just one of several projects being funded through the capital improvements budget.

The city's proposed capital improvements budget is $4.9 million for 2007, and $4.6 million for 2008, according to the finance department. The capital improvements budget allocates money for road projects, water system projects and stormwater projects, said Finance Director John Baranek, adding it also funds annual programs, such as the road paving program and the vehicle replacement program.

During City Council's June 25 Finance Committee meeting, finance department officials presented the proposed figures for 2007 and 2008 to Councilmembers.

Baranek said department heads presented a list of proposed projects to the finance department and Mayor Karen Fritschel, and they ranked the list on a scale of 1 to 3, with 1 as the "most important."

"We look at projects where we have money set aside and projects where we will receive matching funds [from state or federal grants]," said Baranek.

He said some money will be set aside for future projects, including the planned Route 8 and Seasons Road interchange. Baranek said officials expect to spend between $1.2 million and $3.2 million for the interchange. Construction on the project is expected to begin between 2009 and 2011, and cost more than $10.4 million.

According to Baranek, the finance department began calculating capital improvements budgets for two years rather than for one year in 2001. Baranek said he believes determining the budget for two years allows Council and city officials to "see more of what they can expect to see in the following year's budget."

Council must approve the budget. Council is expected to vote on the proposed budget during its June 28 meeting, scheduled for 8 p.m. in Stow City Hall.

E-mail: acole@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-686-3947