Altamont DPW chief Moller retires

Enterprise file photo — Michael Koff

Altamont Superintendent of Public Works Jeffrey Moller, right, speaks with Congressman Paul Tonko about village infrastructure as he displayed aging pipes. Moller will retire at the end of the month. He worked for the village for over 20 years, the last 10 as its DPW superintendent. 

ALTAMONT — The man who, more than anyone, has helped keep Altamont’s infrastructure “humming” for decades has called it a career.

The village board of trustees this month accepted the retirement of its superintendent of public works, Jeffrey Moller. 

“Jeff will be truly missed,” Mayor Kerry Dineen told The Enterprise by email.

Moller, Dineen wrote, “Has been an integral part of our DPW team for over 20 years, leading the team for the last ten years. In addition to the administration of his department, Jeff has helped keep our infrastructure humming, maintained our buildings, grounds, and parks, and worked hard to protect Village resources for our residents. 

“He is leaving large shoes to fill, but we wish him all the best in his retirement, it’s well deserved!”

Moller’s work has for years received near universal praise from trustees, village residents, and the editorial page of this newspaper. 

During a March 2020 budget discussion about raising rates for village water and sewer services, Trustee Nicholas Fahrenkopf observed the reason rates hadn’t gone up in so long was because parts of Altamont’s infrastructure, while aging, were well-maintained, which was a credit to Moller.

“In the past, I remember every year, Jeff would be like: ‘I was able to cut this much from this line, this much from this line, overall, I cut this much money — this year doesn’t sound like that,” Fahrenkopf said. 

In an August 2019 Enterprise editorial about pesticides and their use in the village, the paper said it had “nothing but admiration for Jeffrey Moller, Altamont’s superintendent of public works. He always answers our questions promptly and honestly.”

During the Feb. 6 meeting when Moller tendered his resignation, Moller thanked the board and recounted for the trustees how he came to work for the village. 

“And since this is my last meeting, I’ve got to tell you, I’ve been working here probably since I was about 15 or 16 years old,” Moller said. “My father had his own … contracting business, and I grew up in it.”

Moller said the village had been one of his father’s accounts. 

“I can remember when I was probably 15 years old getting off the bus here to work on water-main breaks and work in the sewer plant,” he said. “Got me going for municipal work.”

After he married, Moller said, he and his wife, Colleen — who also worked part-time for the village and resigned during the same meeting — bought his father’s business and “really got into municipal work.”

Moller said of the business, “We did probably almost 30 years of building pump houses, working on all different water supplies all over the place.”

“And kind of full circle,” he said. “I ended up back here and started my career.”

No replacement was named. A posting for the position is on the village website. Moller did not respond to Enterprise requests for an interview. 


Tax break for first-responders

Governor Kathy Hochul in 2022 signed into law a bill that allows local taxing jurisdictions to offer a property-tax break to volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers. The law’s intention is to attract and retain volunteers to address the decline in the number of active responders to fire, medical, or other emergencies.

Over the past year, a number of local municipalities, including Albany County, the town of Guilderland, and the Guilderland school district, have adopted the break for volunteer first-responder residents. On Feb. 6, it was the village of Altamont’s turn.

In Altamont, to be eligible for a 10-percent assessed property value exemption, a volunteer first-responder’s primary residence has to be located in the village and he or she has to have at least two years of service. 

Dineen said during the meeting that about four members of the Altamont Fire Department met the criteria for an exemption. 

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