The longtime superintendent of the St. James and Smithtown water districts plans to retire next week.
George Ludder, 63, of Smithtown started as a meter reader in 1973 and has been the chief of the two districts for 17 years. His successor has not been named.
“It was time to go,” Ludder told Newsday.
The Smithtown Town Board, which acts as the town’s Water Board, accepted Ludder’s resignation Tuesday.
The districts serve a combined 9,000 customers — 6,000 in Smithtown and 3,000 in St. James. Their combined annual budgets total $3.3 million, Ludder said. He said he has been on call 24 hours a day as superintendent and has had to leave weddings and funerals to respond to emergencies. He said he has no plans for retirement.
“This is all new to me,” Ludder said.