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

News from Town Hall

Planning for 2020
An organizational meeting of the Hillsdale Town Board was held on January 7 at Town Hall. Annual resolutions, appointments, and fees were discussed. A few items of note:
Under Section 4, the following was adopted:
4.21. Town committees are required to seek approval from the Grants Administrator before submitting grant applications.
4.22. Town committee chairs are required to provide Meeting Notes to the Town Supervisor for Town Board distribution and posting on the town website no later than two weeks following the meeting.
Under Section 7, Hank Henward was reappointed to a 7-year term on the Planning Board and Craig Norton was reappointed to a 5-year term on the Zoning Board.
In addition, town committees and their members were updated and a new committee, the Sewer Task Force, was formed and will meet for the first time on February 12.

Annual 284 Plan
The Highway Superintendent's 2020 284 Plan (which outlines how the Highway Superintendent will spend his budget) was accepted by the Town Board at the regular Town Board meeting on January 14. The plan includes spending $176,000 for road paving and resurfacing. It also includes an additional $172,000 for general road repairs and maintenance.

If you have questions or would like additional detail and estimated schedules for the planned work, please contact the Highway Superintendent.

Reminder: Shun Pike Closed for the Winter

Shun Pike does not receive winter maintenance from the Highway Department and will remain closed until April 15, 2020.

Reminder: New Regulations for all Transient Rentals in Hillsdale
At its regular monthly meeting on December 10, the Town Board unanimously adopted a new local law regulating Transient Rentals in the Town of Hillsdale. The law defines Transient Rentals as the rental or lease of any dwelling to a guest for a period of fewer than 30 days, and it specifically excludes hotels, motels, inns and bed and breakfasts. Transient Rentals include listings booked through online platforms, such as Airbnb and Home Away.
Among its provisions, the law requires Transient Rental owners to:
  1. Obtain a Special Permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), and
  2. Obtain a Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Compliance from the Town Building Inspector.
The law requires an inspection of all Transient Rentals by the Building Inspector for compliance with the NYS Uniform Code at the time the applicable Certificate is obtained and subsequently as required by county or state law. The owner is responsible for the payment of inspection fees.
The law also requires the Transient Rental owner to provide current information of a local contact person who must reside within 20 miles of the Transient Rental and be available at all times for the purpose of responding promptly to complaints. If the owner's principal residence is not located within the county, the local contact person, or another agent who resides in the county, must be designated as agent for service of the legal process and all other notices.
Finally, the new local law has provisions designed to ensure that occupants of a Transient Rental remain good neighbors and makes Special Permits nontransferable.

Next Town Board Meeting

The Town Board meets the second Tuesday of the month at 7 pm. The next meeting is Tuesday, February 11. 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

Rep. Delgado Visits Hillsdale

Congressman Antonio Delgado accepted our invitation to visit Hillsdale back in August 2019 and was finally able to join us on January 23. We wanted him to experience first-hand how a small town can make big strides with determination, local investment, and federal grants.

He spoke to a standing-room-only crowd at Town Hall for about 30 minutes before strolling across the street to meet Helen Hall. We proceeded to the Civil War monument so he could admire our revitalized town center and drop into the Hillsdale House to greet folks. We ended up at the soon-to-open Roe Jan Brewery where he marveled at the beautiful restoration of this historic structure (and sampled some delicious food and beer!). Walking back to his car he remarked: "I have to come back with my wife."
Here's his thank you email:
"Dear Supervisor, I can't thank you enough and all the good folks I connected with in Hillsdale for the warm reception. It was a true pleasure. Hillsdale is a good example of the positive result of federal government's infrastructure investment in rural communities.  I look forward to coming back, and in the meantime doing everything I can to help with Hillsdale's redevelopment. Please give Helen my best! - Antonio Delgado"
As we explore grants for future, you better believe that we'll be asking him for support!
Register Star Article

Photo above:  Early twentieth-century photo of the  Anthony Street bridge looking toward the Hillsdale Depot. 

Photo below:  Supervisor Peter Cipkowski (center)  Matthew White (right), owner of the Hillsdale General Store and Home Chef, presented Delgado (left) with a Hillsdale cap and t-shirt. It takes a hamlet.

County Public Hearing for Immunization Law
The Columbia County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on February 12 at 7:00 pm in the Board of Supervisors Chambers at 401 State Street in Hudson concerning the proposed enactment of Local Law No. 3-2020. As proposed, the law will establish immunization requirements for all camps in Columbia County. Copies of the proposed local law are available in the Office of the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors or at the link below.
Everyone is welcome to attend.

Conservation Advisory Council Report
The Hillsdale Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) held ten regular monthly meetings at the Town Hall in 2019. During the final meeting in December comments were received on the third draft of the Hillsdale Natural Resource Inventory (NRI). Other projects of the CAC included obtaining and planting trees and shrubs along the banks of the Roeliff Jansen Kill and participating in the monitoring the water quality of the river in the Town. In addition, the CAC continued its work providing advice to the Town Planning Board concerning the environmental effects of proposed developments.

Hillsdale Broadband Survey
Though broadband internet has come to Hillsdale, many sections of the Town are not yet served. The Hillsdale Broadband Committee is conducting an updated survey of broadband internet for the Town. This will help build our case for more service and options. Could you spend a moment and take the survey? This should take no more than a few minutes. Please spread this survey around to your Hillsdale neighbors and friends - the more data the better!

Take the quick survey
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.

Monthly Coffee Hour February 11
Every second Tuesday of the month, Safe at Home hosts a Coffee Hour for seniors and their caregivers to socialize with their neighbors and to share ideas and conversation. Join us for our monthly Coffee Hour at Crossroads Food Shop on February 11 from 10:00 to 11:30 am. 
Robbie Haldane, who emigrated from Northern Ireland to Hillsdale, NY in 1987, will join us  and share some traditional Irish music and tell stories. According to Robbie, "this will be an intimate opportunity to share music and song and learn from an older generation of singers in the traditional manner."
If you need further transportation within Hillsdale to or from Crossroads, please call Gordon Bates at 528-425-5059

Healthy Neighborhoods Program
The County Department of Health 's Healthy Neighborhoods Program (HNP) is a FREE service that aims to improve the health, safety, and environmental living conditions for all residents in Columbia County. You can call and make an appointment, and you will be visited in your home by an HNP educator who will work with you on how to keep a healthy and safe home. During the home visit, the HNP educator may identify safety or health hazards and will provide information and free materials to help improve the area of concern. Free materials may include fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, fall prevention items, carbon monoxide detectors, radon test kits, asthma management tools, and green cleaning items.
Please note that you do not need to own a home to receive a home visit - renters are also welcome.
Call  (518) 828-3358, option #3 for more information.

Historians Blog
From the blog:

"We recently stumbled on an interesting piece of Hillsdale trivia: one of our more prominent residents was the legendary composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein.

Bernstein, of course, was a fixture at the Boston Symphony Orchestra's summer home, Tanglewood, for some 50 years, starting in 1940. At first, he studied under BSO Music Director Serge Koussevitzky. But within two years, Bernstein was promoted to Koussevitzky's assistant. And it appears that it was Koussevitzky who introduced Bernstein to Hillsdale."

Upcoming Roe Jan Library Events
Community Dine Out

The Roeliff Jansen Community Library has launched the Seventh Annual Community Dine Out, a program that encourages "dining local" and raises money for library programming. Restaurant partners donate 10% of revenues from Dine Out meals to the library. Check out the many options on the schedule.

Community Dine Out Schedule
Bookstore Open

The Friends of Roeliff Jansen Community Library's discounted bookstore is open on the first Saturday of each month, from now through May. The next date the bookstore will open is on Saturday, February 1, from 10 am to 4 pm. Here patrons can find a wide variety of donated books at an affordable price. Proceeds support library operations, equipment, and supplies.  

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

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