An engineering manager for Rio Rancho, New Mexico, will assume a new position next month as director of utilities and engineering for Yakima, City Manager Tony O’Rourke announced Wednesday.

Debbie Cook, who has spent most of her career in Washington, has worked for public agencies and private engineering companies, according to a city news release.

O’Rourke created the position in order to put the city’s engineering, water/irrigation and wastewater divisions under a single administrator. Together, those units have a 2013 operating and capital budget of $61.2 million.

Cook has worked for Rio Rancho, a city of about 90,000 near Albuquerque, since 2006, starting as a construction manager in the public works department. Since 1986, she has worked for the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle, the Port of Port Townsend, Zambrana Engineering in St. Louis, the King County Department of Natural Resources and URS Corp., an international engineering, construction and technical services firm.

She will be paid $115,000 a year, the city said.