News from Town Hall

I t’s not over yet. This is still a very serious health crisis — and so we need to stay the course. Please continue to wear a mask in public and keep a 6-feet distance from others. Using an abundance of caution is still required!

As of 1:00 pm on April 26, 2020, here's the status of COVID-19 in Columbia County:

  • There are now 152 identified positive cases of in Columbia County.
  • 13 County residents have passed away from COVID-19.
  • 77 of the 152 cases have recovered.
  • 15 of the positive cases are hospitalized, and three of those are in the ICU.
  • We have received 1,154 test results completed for Columbia County.
  • 142 residents are under mandatory quarantine, and 24 under precautionary quarantine.
  • Confirmed positive cases by town (as reported by the Department of Health on Friday, April 24):

Ancram- 5
Canaan- 6
Chatham- 7
Claverack- 4
Clermont- 2
Copake- 4
Germantown- 5
Ghent- 16
Greenport- 9
Hillsdale- 6
Hudson- 20
Kinderhook- 12
New Lebanon-3
Stockport- 1
Stuyvesant- 4
Livingston Hills- 2
Pine Haven Residents- 31

Thanks so much for doing everything possible to contain the virus locally. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out anytime.

Peter Cipkowski
Hillsdale Town Supervisor
518-325-5073 x6 (Town Hall)
646-373-5002 (cell)
The Town of Hillsdale has received a limited amount of face masks (not medical grade) from the County's Emergency Management Office to distribute for free to anyone who has been unable to obtain them elsewhere. The masks come in packages of 5, so we are limiting the distribution to 1 package per family. They are made of soft cloth and can be washed and re-used.

A limited supply of these masks will be available at Town Hall upon request from 11 am to 1 pm on weekdays. To obtain your package, contact Town Clerk, Kathi Doolan, to schedule your pickup. She or Deputy Clerk, Veronique Fabio, will leave a package for you at the front door with your name on it.
The Roe Jan Community Library is sponsoring a series of brief interviews with community leaders during this unique moment in our history. The idea is to capture the personal stories of these individuals and, ultimately, how each person is dealing with the pandemic. The first three interviews feature Austerlitz Supervisor and Chairman of the Columbia County Committee of Health and Human Services Rob Lagonia, Copake Supervisor Jeanne Mettler, and Hillsdale business owner Matthew White. Several more interviews are in the works and will be posted on the library website.
Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) and Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) today announced they have awarded a total of 92 grants to local businesses through the Columbia County Business Continuity Fund. This joint effort with the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and the Hudson Business Coalition was launched March 30 to raise new resources in support of small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.
Thanks to generous donations to the Hillsdale Economic and Community Development Corporation (HECDC), the HECDC is offering gifts of $250 to Hillsdale area families that are experiencing financial stress due to loss of employment because of COVID-19. More than $10,000 has already been distributed.

The available funds are limited, so if you would like to apply, please do so as soon as possible.

Please email [email protected] or call 518-325-5073 extension 6 to learn if you qualify.

Donations are also welcome. If you would like to support this important local fund, contributions are tax-deductible. Make your check payable to the HECDC and mail it to:

PO Box 305
Hillsdale NY 12529

Write in the memo: COVID-19 Fund
It is difficult to imagine that summer youth programs will be possible given current restrictions. After consultation with the Columbia County Department of Health (DOH) and the Columbia County Attorney’s office, county officials have concluded that summer camps with children and counselors cannot properly maintain social distancing.

With that in mind, county Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell is requesting authority from the state DOH to issue an executive order closing all summer camps. This order would be renewed every five days until it is determined safe to open the camps.

If permission is not granted for this order, the county DOH will issue a strong recommendation for summer camps to not operate during the Covid-19 crisis.
Hillsdale Fire Chief Fred Miller wants to remind us that if we place a call to 911 for ANY reason -- a smokey chimney, symptoms of a heart attack, or a fall -- to please let the 911 operator know if it's ALL CLEAR and that no one is showing symptoms of coronavirus in the household. Needless to say, if someone is symptomatic, let them know when you place the call. The first-responders will take a few extra precautions when they arrive.
Daily check-ins by the deputies of the Columbia County Sheriff's department are still possible to schedule. Call 518-828-0601, extension 1400 to request a daily visit.

“Leave a message and someone will return your call,” said Bartlett. “A time frame, morning or afternoon, will be established for when a deputy will come to your residence. When the deputy comes by, he or she will knock on the door, then retreat to a safe distance and wait for someone to signal that all is well inside.”
Martin Stosiak of Markristio Farm is featured in the above video. Like our local restaurants, local farms face so much uncertainty these days. Though we're all looking forward to the opening of the Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market in late May, we can start supporting our farmers right away.

Explore this working list of local farmers and resources to learn what they sell, what you can buy now, how to get it, and what you can pre-order.
With all the news about the virus to post, I neglected to provide a link to the most recent blog entry by Hillsdale's historians. It begins: "It can be tempting to think of our town history in terms of its founding fathers, historic houses, and seminal events. But like the history of most small towns, those people, places and occasions serve as punctuation marks in the text of otherwise ordinary lives."
Despite suspending field operations last month, the 2020 Census is still underway and more households are responding every day.

Though the Coronavirus crisis has strongly impacted the count, you can still be counted. The Census Bureau is mailing a paper questionnaire to all households with a mailable address that have not yet responded.

Please mail back your survey or use get counted online or by telephone. Click on the link below or call one of the following numbers: 

844-330-2020 for English 
844-468-2020 for Spanish.

In conjunction with the Claverack and Philmont Libraries, students from Taconic Hills Central School District participated in 2020 Census Poster contest. Here's a sampling.
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) continues to provide emergency funding programs as we respond to the impact of the Coronavirus.

The Columbia County  Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund   makes emergency grants for medical, food, overdue utilities, and other critical services for people in crisis. These are flexible resources in the face of the current emergency. For information, contact Columbia Opportunities at 518 829-4611 or Catholic Charities of Columbia & Greene Counties 518 828-8660. Or explore the link below.
The COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund supports nonprofit organizations working with individuals and families that are disproportionately impacted by the Coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak.
Though Hillsdale Town Hall and the Town Garage remain closed to the public, the Town continues to operate, albeit with somewhat reduced activities.
  • Contact Town Hall employees by email, phone, or mail. Please consult the Town Directory if you need to reach the Town Clerk, Court Clerk, Assessor, Building Inspector, Highway Superintendent, Supervisor, or members of the Town Board. All telephone calls and emails will be returned promptly.
  • Town Highway Departments are considered “essential” and are working a regular schedule. Ours is no exception – and they are taking precautions to protect themselves and the public.
  • Please use the mail slot at the front door of Town Hall if you have anything to drop off.
  • May’s Zoning, Planning and Town Board meetings will take place virtually. Details will be posted on the town website.
  • Hillsdale Town Court is canceled in May.

Important Hotline Numbers:

  • Columbia Memorial Health Coronavirus Hotline: 518-828-8249
  • New York State Coronavirus Information Hotline: 888-364-3065