The Pasco City Council unanimously OK'd Monday a $25,000 contract with J-U-B Engineers to study how to expand the capacity of the city's process water reuse facility.
The facility collects water from food processors near Highway 395 and pumps the water to a large lagoon, said Pasco City Manager Gary Crutchfield. The water is then sprayed on 14 farm circles that farmers lease and farm.
But the circles can't accept any more water, which means the food processors can't expand and new ones can't open in Pasco, he said. And at least one food processor would like to plan an expansion.
Although it may seem obvious that the city should buy more farm circles, farm circles may not be available for sale, Crutchfield said. The study will look at all the options available and bring results to the city in 90 days.
Mayor Matt Watkins said it made sense to see if the city should increase the capacity of the facility.
The money will come from the utility account, Crutchfield said.
-- Saul Martinez was sworn in. Martinez fills the council position left vacant when former Mayor Joyce Olson resigned April 1. He is resigning from the Pasco School Board at the end of June.
-- Watkins was selected as mayor in a 4-3 vote, with Councilmen Tom Larsen, Bob Hoffmann and Al Yenney voting for Hoffmann as mayor.
Councilwoman Rebecca Francik was selected as mayor pro tem in a 4-3 vote, with the same three council members voting for Yenney as mayor pro tem.
-- The new contract with the Mid-Columbia Libraries was unanimously approved. The 15-year contract, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2011, sets the 2011 fee at $1.1 million, with annual adjustments based on the change to assessed value in the district, and provides for a west Pasco satellite branch paid for by the library district.