Pasco's new city manager officially took the reins Monday.
Former Fife city manager Dave Zabell, 56, was sworn in at the start of Monday's city council meeting by City Clerk Debbie Clark. He replaces Gary Crutchfield, who retired in June after 30 years leading city government.
Zabell compared the day to a kid's first day of school.
"As much as you might prepare, nothing can really ready you completely for taking on an organization this size," he told the council.
He moves to a city more than six times the size of Fife, located just east of Tacoma. Zabell was city manager there since 2011 and previously worked as assistant city manager in Yakima.
Zabell is excited for the opportunity, he said.
"The goals on the back of the wall here, the challenges, are great," he said.
Mayor Matt Watkins welcomed Zabell and thanked the city's staff for its work through the interim period when it was headed by Deputy City Manager Stan Strebel.
Council then discussed three contracts it will vote on next week involving a $5 million sewer main project. Public Works Director Ahmad Qayoumi said the two-mile long, 30-inch wide trunk line will allow the city to grow to the northwest.
City staff is designing the project in house, but had to go out for bids on cultural resources assessment, survey and geotechnical services, Qayoumi said.
"We're outsourcing parts of the project we don't have expertise in, but the bulk of the project will stay in house," he said.
Using staff for much of the project will save between $150,000 and $200,000, Qayoumi said.
The sewer main is planned for area north of Powerline Road and west of Road 52, Qayoumi said. It will be buried as deep as 20 feet.
The city will pay SWCA Inc. of Phoenix $23,929 for the cultural assessment, if approved next week. The state Department of Ecology and other agencies require the assessment because of archaeological sites found along the Columbia River.
The council will also need to approve paying Skillings Connolly Inc. of Lacy $41,160 to survey the area and Boise-based STRATA Inc. $22,470 for geotechnical work, which involves studying underground areas.
-- Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543; email@example.com; Twitter: @GeoffFolsom