The Ames City Council formally begins the 2018 budget process Tuesday evening. The council will look at a five-year Capital Improvements Plan that calls for an investment of more than $208 million dollars from various funding sources between now and 2023. The largest single allocation calls for spending more than $113 million in the city's utilities--that includes more than $48 million in the sanitary sewer system, $35 million in electric, and nearly $20 million for water and pollution control. The CIP also calls for spending more than $85 million on the city's transportation system, with more than $72 million on streets and bike paths, and $12 million for CyRide. First-year CIP allocations could be part of the larger city budget, with hearings to start later this month.