{There is a lot of news in this issue. To be sure you see it all, click here to view the newsletter as a web page.}.

News from Town Hall

Dear {First Name},

As this newsletter arrives in your “In Box”, we are all looking forward to celebrating the July 4th weekend. And as this holiday approaches, it is fitting that we recognize and celebrate the 100th birthday of Hillsdale resident Ernie Santoro, a veteran of the “Greatest Generation” who came of age during the Depression, fought and was wounded in Word War II, serving in the Army’s 1 Cavalry Division, 12th Regiment, Troop 6 as a scout and horse-mounted rifleman in the Pacific Theater. Congratulations Ernie! (See article below for further details.)

Last week, Hillsdale lost two of its other life-long residents woven into the fabric of our community; Helen Hall, who always reminded us to proudly display the Stars and Stripes at Town Hall, and Bob Hopkins, who served with dedication on the Zoning Board of Appeals and as a life member of the Hillsdale Fire Company. We celebrate their lives and mourn their loss.

A few days ago, I received an interesting article citing a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) report that noted a surge in the number of construction permits for new single-family homes in the Hudson Valley. In Columbia County, the number of new permits rose by 43.2 percent in 2021, largely resulting from the pandemic-related move of New York City residents to a more rural environment. Interestingly, the study also showed a .04 percent population growth, reversing a long downward trend. According to the report, this population gain led to a constriction of the housing market as demand outstripped supply, leading to the housing shortage that has been the focus of attention by the County and Town. Our Zoning and Planning Boards are at the front line of this trend, and we ask for your understanding as these vital boards manage through the growth and complexity of the many projects demanding their attention.

Finally, it was great to see so many friends and neighbors at the Roe Jan Library Gala last weekend, a sure sign of recovery from the pandemic.

My very best wishes to you and your family for a terrific July 4th.

Chris Kersten

Town Supervisor


July Town Board Meeting In Person

The July Town Board meeting will be held in person at Town Hall on Tuesday July 12 at 7 pm.

Town Website
Agendas & Minutes

COVID Update

Active COVID cases in Columbia County are low. As of Wednesday June 29, there were 50 active cases, with 10 county residents hospitalized, two of them in the ICU. Since the start of the pandemic there have been 13,040 cases in the county and 146 deaths.

According to the new CDC COVID-19 Community Level tool, Columbia County's level is "high". Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area.

CDC COVID-19 Community Levels
County Vaccine Clinics
Columbia County Dept. of Health

Town to Honor Ernie Santoro 

Ernie Santoro, a Hillsdale resident and decorated WWII veteran, will reach his milestone 100th birthday next week. Everyone is invited to muster at the Hillsdale Fire House on Friday, July 1 at 11:30am to caravan to Ernie's house and deliver the town's very best birthday wishes and warmest thanks for his service. The Hillsdale Historians are working on a blog about the life of this extraordinary man for publication in July, and Hillsdale will recognize his birthday, July 5, as 

"Ernie Santoro -- a Celebration of Life Day".

KIDSDALE!, Free Indie Rock Concert for Kids

Saturday, July 16 in Hillsdale’s Hamlet Park

KIDSDALE!, a free rock concert, will feature noted musicians from the area playing music specifically for kids from 2 - 5 PM on Saturday, July 16 in Hillsdale's Hamlet Park. Kicking things off will be Slinky Armadillo and the Bone Collectors (aka Slink Moss of Copake), performing an hour-long set of songs about animals and the alphabet. A special treasure hunt, with prizes, will take place in the park during the intermission. Then, from Egremont, The Soundry Music Studio band will play an hour-long set of music from Harry Nilsson's infamous children's recording from 1970, "The Point". The Soundry Music Studio band is comprised of noted South Berkshire journeymen, led by former Hillsdaler and music instructor Brian Kantor. The band features Wes Buckley, Will Lawrence, and Miles Lally, with narration by Slink Moss.

The Hillsdale Fire Company will be selling smash burgers, cheese dogs, veggie versions of both, and refreshments during the event.

The Economic Development Committee and the Town of Hillsdale are producing and hosting this new summer event.

Long-Serving Planning Board Member Retires,

Board Seeks New Member

At the June Town Board meeting, Supervisor Chris Kersten announced that Planning Board member Patti Rohrlich is retiring. Kersten thanked her for her record setting 32 years on the board, including some years as chair of the board. 

Because of her retirement, the Planning Board is seeking a new member. The mission of the Planning Board is to review and guide proposed building and development projects so that they comply with the regulations set forth in the Comprehensive Plan, the goals of which are to maintain the rural character of Hillsdale and protect the environment. Members serve a 7 year term, meeting monthly on the second Monday at 7 PM. This is an uncompensated position. Please send a letter of interest with a resume to hillsdalepb@gmail.com.

Linking National News to Local

The Hillsdale Historian's blog posts are, logically, about Hillsdale, so you might be surprised that this month the post is about Title IX, the law that required schools and colleges that received federal assistance to treat men and women equally – in academics and athletics. Yes, it's the 50th anniversary of the signing of the law, but why a blog post?

Because the Historians recently received a June 1939 issue of "The Roe-Jan News", the school newspaper. There is a page of sports news but all the teams are boy's teams. Click below to read the blog and learn about the effects of Title IX and more about the Roe-Jan News.

Hillsdale Historians

How to Lend Hillsdale a Needed Helping Hand

The Hillsdale Economic and Community Development Corporation (HECDC) has set up a website where individuals can donate to worthwhile projects that will improve the quality of life in the Town. Projects range from a Town Hall flag and flag pole to a the imaginative mural that will soon be hand-painted on the wall of the Hillsdale Supermarket.

The giving site can be accessed from the town website home page, by clicking on the white bubble that says SUPPORT OUR PROJECTS, or by clicking below. The HECDC website lists all the Town projects to which you can donate. To make a donation click on the item you want to support and fill in the form at the bottom of the project description. New projects are always in the works.


Town Eligible for $5,000 NYSERDA Action Grant

The Town of Hillsdale has become eligible for a $5,000 Action Grant under the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Clean Energy Communities program. The Town’s eligibility recognizes the success of the Hillsdale Community Solar initiative that was launched in May. The Town has three months to claim the grant by submitting an application and a letter of

commitment that describes the clean energy project, program or initiative it plans to support using the funding.

Community Solar Project Manager Howard Van Lenten said that becoming eligible for the grant “is tangible evidence of the Town’s commitment to mitigating climate change and reducing its reliance on fossil fuels. Next step,” he said, “is to decide which clean energy project to undertake with the funds.” Van Lenten emphasized that “Hillsdale residents have until the end of the year to subscribe to the Community Solar program to save up to 10 percent per month on their electric bill and receive a $100 cash bonus just for signing up.”

Click below  more information and to sign up for Community Solar. Have a copy of a recent NYSEG bill handy and select "Solarize Columbia County" when asked.

Community Solar Program

Of Note.....

The Hillsdale Flea Market, which had been planned for July 2 has been cancelled due to a lack of vendors.


There are still openings available for kids to attend the Hillsdale Summer Youth Program in the Roe Jan Park. It starts Monday, July 11 and runs through Friday, August 19. For information and applications, click here. Applications can also be obtained at Town Hall.


Town Hall still has KN95 masks and COVID test kits available for free.


The CMH Rapid Care site at 283 Mountain View Road in Copake in now open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 9 AM to 5 PM.


An automated system sends text and email messages when a notice is posted on the town website. Notices can be about emergencies, such as a power outage, information about an upcoming meeting, etc. 

To sign up for alerts:

  • Go to the Contact tab on the top of the website
  • Click on “Subscribe to Updates”
  • Enter name, address, email, and cell.
  • Check News & Notices, and whether you would prefer to receive alerts via email, text, or both.


July 25 will be the next Safe at Home Coffee Hour at the Hillsdale House. The topic will be ticks - what's new and how to avoid them.


A program on how to talk to a person who is developing signs of dementia will be held on Monday, July 18, from 10 to 11 AM at Columbia County Office of the Aging at 325 Columbia Street in Hudson. Call 518 828-4258 for information and to register.

Farmers Market Promotes Local Shopping

As it has become more expensive to drive around to do your grocery shopping, the Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market suggests that you do more of your shopping locally.

Farmers at the market offer local vegetables, fruits and herbs, at least six kinds of meat, baked goods from seven providers, prepared and specialty foods, and condiments, as well as local beer, wine, cider, and spirits.

CHFM accepts SNAP (food stamps) and doubles their purchasing power. Stop at the manager's table for details.

Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market is open on Saturdays from 9 AM - 1 PM at the Roe Jan Park. 

Committee Collecting Clothing for

"Free Store" at Climate Carnival

The Hillsdale Climate Smart Community Task Force is urging residents to “reduce, reuse, recycle clothes for climate” by donating new and gently worn clothing to the Free Store at the Columbia County Climate Carnival. 

On average each person throws out 72 lbs. of clothing and textiles a year, most of it ending up in landfills. Experts estimate that up to 95% of this could be recycled. One way of doing that is donating clothes you no longer wear.

Clothing to be donated to the Climate Carnival Free Store is being collected in the back door vestibule of the Hillsdale Fire House, July 1 – 13. The vestibule is open 24 hours a day.

The inaugural Columbia County Climate Carnival, an event designed to make finding solutions to climate change fun, will be held at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in Chatham, on Saturday, July 16, 2022, from 10am to 4pm. Admission and parking are free.

A wide array of exhibitors and displays will be on-hand, including a bike recycling station and repair café, where area handymen will fix items like lamps, jewelry, clothing, and vases. The free store will offer children’s items, and home goods as well as donated clothing. The Columbia County Library Association will provide children’s programming. Other events include renewable energy education, the science of composting, live birds of prey exhibitions, a beekeeper, live music, and food trucks.


This is a Columbia County event, put on by the Climate Smart Communities Task Force and organized by a committee of volunteers in several towns across the county, from both public and private organizations.

Hillsdale Agrees to Again Sponsor Roe Jan Ramble

At its June meeting the Town Board agreed to again sponsor the Roe Jan Ramble bike ride, along with the towns of Ancram and Copake. The ride, which will be on Saturday, September 17, will offer six routes, from easy to challenging, traversing roads and the Harlem Valley Rail Trail in the three towns. The event is free but riders are encouraged to donate to the Rail Trail. Registration is now open. Click below to sign up and donate.

Roe Jan Ramble

County Dedicates $500K in ARPA Funds

 to Assisting Small Businesses

The Columbia County Board of Supervisors has announced the launch of Columbia Forward, a new $500,000 initiative designed to assist small businesses and strengthen local economic development activities.

The Columbia Economic Development Corporation and the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce will partner to implement and manage a three-year, $450,000 program under Columbia Forward intended to assist county based small businesses and local economic development committees.

In addition, Columbia County will provide CEDC with an additional $50,000 in ARPA funds to support a new small business grant program to which CEDC has committed $500,000 in new loan funds.  Loans up to $25,000 will be made available to credit eligible borrowers, who will each receive 10 percent of what has been borrowed in grant funding.

The capital for both initiatives is being supplied by American Rescue Plan Act funds -- to date, Columbia County has received half of the approximately $11 million it has been allocated under the ARPA legislation.

The program will target small businesses disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, including businesses in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries, which are an important part of the Columbia County economy. The program will also focus on main street retail, small manufacturing and service businesses.

Upcoming Events in the Area

RJHS Museum Remembers WWII

"From the Home Front to the Front Lines: The Roeliff Jansen Historical Society Remembers WWII" is the summer exhibit at the society's museum in Copake Falls . 

Visitors will experience World War Il from the personal perspective of those who served at home and overseas. The stories are told through mementos, artifacts, correspondence, and

photographs on loan from residents of the Roe Jan area and beyond.

The exhibit is open Saturdays and Sundays from 2 PM to 4 PM, July through September. The museum is at 8 Miles Road.

Library Benefit Golf Tournament July 17

The annual Roeliff Jansen Community Library Benefit Golf Tournament will be held Sunday July 17 at Undermountain Golf Course in Copake. Two-person teams will compete in a shotgun, 18-hole scramble, with the top prize being a round of golf for four at Copake Country Club.

Prizes will be given for men’s, women’s and mixed teams and for closest-to-the-pin.

Even those not playing in the tournament can participate in the putting contest any time during the day, for a donation of $5.

The entry fee of $85 per person, or $70 for Undermountain members, includes 18 holes of golf, homemade breakfast goodies, snacks, and a chicken BBQ after the tournament. Non-golfers may attend the BBQ for $25. Carts are available for $10 per person and must be booked in advance. A portion of every entry fee will be donated to the operating fund for the library.

Entry forms for the tournament are available by clicking below, at the library, and at the course and must be received by July 10. On the 17th, golfers should register at 8 am for the 8:30 am tee off. For more information contact Undermountain Golf Course at (518) 329-4444.

Undermountain Golf Course is at 274 Undermountain Road in Copake.

RJCL Benefit Golf Tournament

Adult programs at the Roe Jan Community Library in July include two concerts in the Hilltop Barn at the Roe Jan Park - big band jazz and the American songbook -- and a memoir writing group. Balance and Strength classes will be on Zoom. For kids there will be story time at the Farmers Market and Lego Thursdays. The library is located at 9091 Rt. 22.

Adult Programs at the RJCL
Kid's Programs at the RJCL

The Roe Jan Library Friends Bookshop will be open every Saturday this summer from 10 AM to 2 PM. Thousands of gently used books, CD’s and DVD’s will be for sale. Masks are required. To donate books, email Celia Kahn at caskahn@gmail.com. The bookshop is located on the lower level of the library at 9091 Rt. 22.

Upcoming Town Meetings

The Planning Board will be meet at Town Hall on Monday, July 11.

  • At 6:30 PM, the Board will hold a public hearing regarding the application for a minor subdivision by Marc Goodman at 67 Taconic Ridge Road
  • Following that, the Board will hold a public hearing regarding the application for a minor subdivision by Roberta Davis at 131 Schoolhouse Road.

Agenda subject to change. Final agenda will be posted in the Events section on the home page of the Hillsdale website about a week before the meeting.

The Zoning Board will be meeting at 7:30 on Tuesday, July 5.

They will be hearing an application from Joshua Rudder of Taconic Invasive Pest Control for a Special Permit to apply herbicide within the 200’ stream corridor at 142 Ten Broeck Road.

Economic Development

Time: Wednesday July 27, 11 aM


Passcode: 877397

Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 870 2340 5671

Did someone forward this email to you? Join the mailing list so the newsletter is delivered directly to you.

Join the Hillsdale Newsletter Maling List
Follow Hillsdale on our official Facebook and Instagram pages.

Instagram  Facebook  
Check out the Hillsdale Business Directory. From plumbers to galleries, restaurants to inns, businesses have a lot to offer in Hillsdale. 

If you have a business located in Hillsdale you can add or edit your listing online.
Hillsdale Business Directory
Add/Edit Your Listing

Newsletter Editor: Meg Wormley


2609 State Route 23/Main Street
Hillsdale NY 12529
518 325-5073