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
Tourism in Hillsdale

It's no secret that tourism is growing in Columbia County and in Hillsdale. About 5 years ago, the Columbia County Office of Tourism developed a series of postcards to promote the County and Hudson in particular. The Office recently released two new cards showcasing Hillsdale and Chatham as tourist and shopping destinations, including the one shown here. We love how it captures aerial zip-lining at Catamount and biking on the Harlem Valley Rail Trail.

Looking Ahead: Hillsdale's Wastewater Treatment Plant

Although Hillsdale's Wastewater Treatment Plant does a fine job and has plenty of capacity for potential growth, it's important to think about future needs. Steve Grimm, a technician with the New York Rural Water Association, was invited to speak to the Town Board in November, and he encouraged the Board to form a task force to help develop a multi-year plan.

Some of the questions that need to be addressed by the task force include:
  • What is a logical, economically viable roadmap for the plant?
  • What are the plant's current limitations and risks?
  • Does the plant need to be expanded to support future growth?
  • Does Hillsdale need a second sewer district?
  • What are DEC requirements?
The Board will discuss the formation of a task force at the December board meeting. If it gets a green light, the task force will be facilitated by Steve Grimm and will include eight community members including the Supervisor, a Board member, and the Town Clerk.

Local Law #2: Short-Term Rentals

The Public Hearing that was held just before the November Town Board meeting t o discuss Proposed Local Law #2 attracted a few residents. The consensus was that the law is reasonable and offers guidance to the Town's Code Officer. The Town Board is scheduled to vote on the law at its December meeting. 

Town Board Meeting

The Town Board meets the second Tuesday of the month at 7 pm. The next meeting is Tuesday, December 10. All meetings of the Town Board and its committees are open to the public. 

Submission of any requests for inclusion on a town board agenda must be received by the  Town Clerk no later than the close of business on the Wednesday immediately preceding the meeting.
Meeting Minutes

Shredding Program

Sponsored by the Columbia County Clerk's Office, the popular K.I.S.S. (Keeping Identities of Seniors Safe) shredding program has returned to Town Hall through December 13. Deposit documents into a secure container in Town Hall, to be destroyed by Certified Document Security LLC in North Chatham. This service is available during Town Clerk and Deputy Clerk  hours at Town Hall.  

Photo below:   Hunter,  Eliana, and  Kaylin  were among dozens of volunteers who helped out at Roe Jan Pantry's annual preparation of Thanksgiving Baskets last month. Interested in volunteering at Christmas? Visit this page.

Public Meeting to Discuss NRI on December 5
You're invited to attend a public meeting of Hillsdale's Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) on Thursday, December 5, at 7 pm. The goal of the meeting is to discuss he most recent draft of the Hillsdale Natural Resource Inventory (NRI) that includes 22 maps and over 70 photographs of Hillsdale's natural features as well as extensive descriptions of Hillsdale's natural, biological, and mineral resources. The December 5 meeting is an opportunity to ask questions about the NRI, view larger versions of new maps, and comment on the draft.
Comments may also be sent to the CAC at [email protected]. Download the current draft  here or pick up a copy  at the front desk at the Roe Jan Community Library.

Upcoming Roe Jan Library Events
The Friends of Roeliff Jansen Community Library will host their annual cookies, soup, and books sale at the library on Friday, December 6, from 10 am to 4 pm, and on Saturday, December 7, from 10 am to 4 pm. Take the stress out of holiday shopping with affordable gifts and yummy snacks courtesy of The Friends of RJCL's annual holiday sale. 

The Friends will be selling holiday books and gifts, as well as homemade cookies and soup, in the library's Community Room. The Friends' bookstore will also be open on these days for holiday shopping.

There's always a lot going on at the Roe Jan Library.  Download a PDF of upcoming library events . Be sure to check out the library website for the most up-to-date information.

Safe at Home
Hillsdale's Safe at Home Committee is dedicated to identifying new programs and initiatives that benefit our senior population. Its mission is to ensure that our seniors get access to services that they need so they can age safely at home.
Aging Life Care Services
A new service for Columbia County residents is being developed by Catholic Charities' Charities, Senior and Caregiver Support Services program, called Aging Life Care Services Columbia County. It will include in-home social work consultation to help with health and disability, financial, housing, family, legal, and in-home needs. Please call (518) 372-5667 for more information. Let them know that your Hillsdale Safe at Home Committee has informed you of this program.

Monthly Coffee Hour December 10
Safe at Home Committee's first Coffee Hour on November 12 was a success. Despite the snowy day, 17 people participated and enjoyed a cup of coffee, casual conversation, sharing of ideas for seniors, socializing, and delicious pastries at Crossroads Food Shop. The next Coffee Hour will be Tuesday, December 10, from 10 to 11:30 am at Crossroad Food Shop.

Christmas Tree Lighting
Hillsdale's Christmas Tree lighting celebration is Saturday, December 7. Sponsored by the Hillsdale Fire Department, kids are invited to gather at the firehouse at 4:30 pm and board a hayride to Cullin Park for the lighting of the tree. 

Decorated fire trucks will guide the hayride into Town where, at about 5 pm, Santa appears to light the tree. The kids head back to the firehouse for presents and treats.

All welcome!

Hudson Valley Zero Waste Training Series
There will be a FREE three-part training in Albany starting on December 9 to provide tools to create a Zero Waste Plan for your community. Training is being offered by the foremost Zero Waste training organization in the nation , funded by a grant from the Mead Foundation.
This is a rare opportunity to jumpstart our regional Zero Waste effort so we hope that some of you will be able to take part in it.  At least consider coming to the first day! More information and register HERE
Santa at Library
Santa Claus will be visiting Roeliff Jansen Community Library on Sunday, December 15, from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. All ages are welcome.
The Library will be transformed into a spectacular winter wonderland to welcome Santa Claus, who will wish all the good boys and girls a merry Christmas. During this event for the whole family, guests will enjoy carolers, hot chocolate, and cookies. Best of all, each child will receive a free book from Santa!
Hillsdale 1910
Two views of Hillsdale from the north and south around 1910. The steeple in the photo is long-gone Presbyterian Church on Cold Water Street (on the site of the current brick Masonic Temple).

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