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NORTH TONAWANDA – The Common Council is considering a pilot program to allow a developer with a plan for condominiums at 130 Walck Road to install plastic water pipes, instead of iron, underground at the site.

City Engineer Dale Marshall estimated plastic could save $20,000 to $30,000 on the project, after he explained the request to the Council at their workshop meeting Tuesday.

Current city code requires iron pipes. Over the next week, Marshall and Superintendent of Public Works Bradley Rowles will research plastic pipes with the intention of having a proposal ready for the Council to vote on at next week’s meeting.

The Deerwood Estate condos on Walck are being built by David Homes, the company that worked with the “Extreme Makeover” reality TV show to rebuild a house on Massachusetts Avenue in Buffalo three years ago, Marshall said.

He and Rowles will work together on the plan for this pilot project because of a change discussed at the meeting: Rowles’ job responsibilities expanded at the beginning of this month to include water distribution.

Looking after the city’s 120 miles of water pipes was once handled by the superintendent of water and sewer, a city position that the mayor has been working to redefine and make more efficient.

“It’s part of the streamlining thing,” Council President Richard Andres said of the adjustment in Rowles’ responsibilities.

It makes sense to add water pipes because the equipment and expertise needed to dig and fill to lay pipes are already part of the expertise and equipment the DPW has, Andres said.

To account for the added responsibility of looking after the city’s water pipes and mains, a stipend – about $2,000, said Marshall – will be added to Rowles’ salary.

email: mkearns@buffnews.com