The goal of this newsletter is to share a bit of local news and shine a spotlight on the interesting things that are happening  in Hillsdale and nearby.

News from Town Hall 
Broadband Committee

The Hillsdale Broadband Committee will meet on Sunday, August 4, 2019 at 11:00 am at Town Hall.  All interested town residents are invited and encouraged to attend.  Among the issues to be discussed at the meeting:
  • The ongoing fiber buildouts by Consolidated and Charter/Spectrum;
  • The settlement approved days ago by the Public Service Commission with Charter/Spectrum relating to the expansion of Charter/Spectrum's broadband system in New York State;
  • Strategies for town residents to seek fiber expansion onto specific roads; and
  • Non-fiber broadband options.
For further information, contact Committee Chair Andy Dash at  [email protected] (or by phone at 917-657-1921).

Major John Collin

The Roeliff Jansen Historical Society is displaying the Civil War uniform of Major John Collin at Town Hall. Collin was a member of a prominent Hillsdale family that included a congressman, many town leaders, and large landowners on Hunt Road and Collins Street. The display includes a portrait by Lucy Collin of her husband in his uniform (see photo above) and will remain in Town Hall through September.

Town Website

The Town Board accepted the recommendation by Economic Development Committee members Tod Wohlfarth and Howard Van Lenten to partner with TownWeb to launch
a new town website later this year. TownWeb is a fir, that specializes in municipal website development, and their low bid was $6,782. This quote includes a complete overhaul of the site, mobile responsiveness, automatic technical and security updates, and free design refresh every three years. The annual hosting, maintenance and support package costs $1,068. Supervisor Cipkowski, who also serves as webmaster, will kick off the redesign project in August, and design is expected to be completed later in the fall.
Hillsdale Culvert Assessment and Replacement Project

Highway Department Superintendent Briggs and Supervisor Cipkowski met with Cornell Cooperative Extension, Trout Unlimited (TU), and the Housatonic Valley Association to review four compromised culverts in Hillsdale. The goal of this collaborative is to reconnect degraded waterways and restore trout populations at four locations:
  1. Breezy Hill Road near State Route 23: Plan is to replace the culvert
  2. Mitchell Street near Holm Road: Plan is to replace the culvert
  3. Near 344 Collins Street: Plan is to replace the culvert and modify rock dam upstream
  4. Tribrook near Collins Street: Plan is to replace or remove the culvert and restore the creek
The bridges and culverts that carry roads over our streams can become obstacles to the movement of fish and wildlife. They may also be at risk of damage or failure during flood events. The focus of this collaborative is to minimize repair and replacement costs to the town, maintain safe roads, and improve fish and wildlife passage.
Surveys on these sites will be over the next few weeks, and replacements will occur over the next few years depending on schedules and budget. The Highway Department will do the work.
Hamlet and Historic Hillsdale Committees Relaunch

Supervisor Cipkowski and Councilmember Tom Carty had a successful launch meeting with the newly reconstituted Hamlet and Historic Hillsdale Committees. The new committees are comprised of experienced members as well as new ones and both have already met to appoint a chair and to discuss goals. It's not too late to join one of these committees, or others - they're all listed on the town website. Please contact Supervisor Cipkowski for more information.
eCode 360 Project

Work has begun on compiling town laws dating back to the 1970s to use on the  eCode360 platform, which is considered the gold standard for online Code access. Town Clerk Kathi Doolan and Deputy Clerk Veronique Fabio are compiling the old laws for the platform, which will enable everyone in our community to access, search, review, and share Code sections with speed and precision.
Grant Application for Water Quality Improvement Program
The Town of Hillsdale has submitted a Water Quality Improvement Project grant application to the State of New York. If secured, this grant would provide funding to help expand our current waste treatment plant to accommodate new growth. The Town partnered with Victor Cornelius, who wrote the grant that successfully secured State grant funding for the Hillsdale sidewalk project. If awarded, Hillsdale will expand capacity at its existing wastewater treatment plant in 2020.

As part of the grant application process, Supervisor Cipkowski is coordinating with Congressman Delgado's office to schedule a Hillsdale site visit later this fall.

A Sampling of Letters of Support:

In Case You Missed It

This article in Rural Intelligence misses more than a few things about what makes our Town special, but we're grateful it identified at least  10 Things to Love About Hillsdale.

Photo below: Hillsdale's summer youth program - getting ready for a hike in the beautiful Roe Jan Park.

Columbia-Greene Addiction Resource
At the July Board of Supervisors meeting on July 10, the Columbia-Greene Addiction Coalition launched a new website Funded by the Columbia County Board of Supervisors and the Greene County legislature, the purpose of the website is to provide information about the resources in and around the Twin Counties for preventing, treating and supporting recovery from addiction.

Whether you're new to the challenge or well-versed in the issue of addiction, there is sure to be something of use and value found in this new resource. Any questions, comments or suggestions about the website can be directed to the Columbia-Greene Addiction Recovery Coordinator, Danielle Hotaling, by phone at 518-697-6182 or via email at [email protected], or submitted through the website on its "Contact Us" page.
Safe at Home Committee Update

Hot weather has arrived. While we may be pleased that it finally feels like summer, too much heat for anyone is not safe. For our older residents it can be more problematic and lead to serious health complications. According to the National Institute on Aging, hot weather can cause "heat stroke, swelling of ankles and feet, sudden dizziness, heat cramps and heat exhaustion."
Living in homes without air conditioning or fans means our neighbors are more at risk. What can we do to avoid heat-related illnesses? Drink lots of water or juice, wear loose clothes, enjoy cool places such as the Town Hall and the Roe Jan Library, limit use of ovens, and always consider checking on your neighbors.


The Office for the Aging offers transportation services to shopping facilities, banks, pharmacies, libraries, county agencies, congregate meals, friends' homes or other places. Rides are provided to individuals 60 and over who reside in Columbia County. The goal is to ensure that individuals who cannot drive or who have no means of transportation, have the opportunity to live a full life. To schedule a ride, call 518-828-4258 between 8 am and 4 pm Monday - Friday.

On October 19, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Firehouse, the Safe at Home Committee is hosting an interactive workshop for seniors and caregivers to meet with a range of service providers and experts on important issues to help our seniors remain safely at home.
Third Annual Roe Jan Library Community Picnic
The Third Annual Roe Jan Library Community Picnic will be held under a tent at the library on Sunday, August 11 from noon to 3:00 p.m.  The event is free and all are invited to come and bring family and friends.
There will be hot dogs on the grill, chips, ice cream, cookies, milk and juice for all.  Each child will be invited to select a free book from the Friends of Roe Jan Library Book Store to take home.  Mark Bruck and friends will entertain with live music.
Birds of Prey from Robinson Wildlife will arrive at 1:00 p.m.  Meet a hawk, an owl and a falcon up close.  Feel the wind from their wings and watch them fly.  Last year this spectacular show was enjoyed by a standing room only crowd that filled the library with amazed and delighted children and adults.  
Don't miss this chance to eat, see an exciting nature show, enjoy time with neighbors and old friends and meet new ones.  All are welcome, fee to all - RAIN OR SHINE!
This event is made possible in part by grants from the Bank of Greene County and the Rheinstrom Hill Community Foundation.

Photo credit: B.Docktor Photography 
The Hidden History of the Roe Jan Region on Display
The Roeliff Jansen Historical Society summer exhibit, The Hidden History of the Roe Jan Region, is open at the museum in Copake Falls from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through Labor Day. 

More information can be found on the  RJHS website .

Hillsdale ArtsWalk Returns August 10
Hillsdale's ArtsWalk is back and will be held on August 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Hamlet. 

Featuring incredible local artisans, the ArtsWalk is a fantastic way to meet and support our area's many treasured artists. 

For more information or to apply to show your work or to VOLUNTEER, please email [email protected].
Grillsdale's Back On August 24!
Back for its fourth year as one of the most tantalizing evenings of the summer, Grillsdale proudly spotlights the culinary bounty of Columbia County and the Berkshires. It features some of the best grilled small plates from the area's top restaurants and chefs. Set against the rolling hills of Roeliff Jansen Park, you can watch the sunset while sampling your way through an all-inclusive food and drink menu. 

More information can be found at
Oldtone Roots Music Festival Starts September 5
The Oldtone Roots Music Festival gets underway in North Hillsdale on September 5. It features hand-picked artists who all have one thing in common: an honest, real and earthly tone to both their music and their performance. The event has an intimate  hands-on atmosphere where audience members can engage directly with the artists. Oldtone's motto is "participation is preservation." Participation is encouraged in workshops, jams, contests, and dances. 
Oldtone Roots Music Festival

Roe Jan Ramble Set For September 21
The Roe Jan Ramble Bike Tour is returning for its 7th year on Saturday, September 21. This free event is sponsored by the towns of Hillsdale, Copake, and Ancram and takes riders through some of the most scenic roads in the three towns.

This year, there will be 6 different routes to choose from, from a family-friendly 10 mile route to a 62.5 mile route for more experienced cyclists. Riders can go at their own pace on well marked quiet country roads and portions of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail. The rides begin and end in Copake Memorial Park.

To join the fun and for more details, visit this online link.

Thanks for reading our newsletter.  If you want to promote your upcoming event on the Hillsdale calendar, share an old photo, or write an article or two, I'd love to hear from you!
Peter Cipkowski, Town Supervisor and Town Crier