Spokane official takes post in Lacey

LACEY - A Spokane city official is headed west to lead Lacey's public works department.

Scott Egger, Spokane's acting director of engineering services, accepted the job offer Sunday. He will start July 30.

"Scott is an extremely personable and accomplished leader," City Manager Greg Cuoio said.

Egger, 48, said he wanted to take the next step in his career and was attracted to Lacey's newer roads and utilities as well as its progressive philosophy, mentioning its design standards, roundabouts and creation of a reclaimed-water utility.

"It seems to be a very high-caliber organization," he said. "I'm very excited about the opportunity to work for the city of Lacey."

Egger will make $110,000 a year and receive medical, dental and retirement benefits.

He has worked for the city of Spokane since 1999. Before that, he worked for Spokane County for a decade after leaving Morrison-Knudsen Co., now known as Washington Group International, a large construction and engineering firm based in Boise, Idaho.

As public works director, Egger will be responsible for the operation of the city's water, wastewater and stormwater systems; design and construction of public utility and transportation projects; and maintenance of city parks and streets.

The department is planning and designing a number of transportation and utility projects to keep up with the city's growth. The city added 1,800 residents in the 12 months that ended April 1, according to a state estimate. Spokane has 198,000 residents; Lacey has about 35,000.

City officials also are working with the state Department of Ecology and local governments and tribes to secure additional rights to pump more water from the ground to serve the growing population. The city has halted new development in its urban growth area because it can't guarantee it has water available to serve new homes and businesses.

Egger and his wife of 27 years, Desi, have three grown children.

He succeeds Dennis Ritter, who resigned several weeks before Thurston County prosecutors charged him with molesting an underage girl he knew on three occasions in 1998. Ritter has pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree child molestation. His sentencing is set for Aug. 2 in Thurston County Superior Court.