News from Town Hall

The hills are alive with the sound of music! JAMS IN THE HAMLET – inspired and organized by Garrin Benfield, Jason Durant and the Hamlet Committee – held its inaugural concert in the Hamlet Park on the glorious afternoon of Saturday, May 15th to an appreciative audience of about 300 persons. And the best is yet to come, with five more concerts planned. The return of the Farmers Market on another lovely day last Saturday and planning well underway for this year’s Summer Youth Program at Roe Jan Park all mark the excitement and renewal we have been yearning for over the past year.

In recent months and weeks, Hillsdale has also been in the news, from The New York Times, to the Register-Star, Columbia Paper and other publications, another indicator of our Town’s vitality. Our committees are setting a strong pace, ranging from the Hamlet Park revitalization, understanding and preserving our natural resources, fostering economic development, affordable housing, services for our seniors, preserving our history and historic places, to ensuring that we have a viable sewer system and more. In all of these activities, citizen participation has never been more important, and we are always on the lookout for new volunteers eager for community engagement. If you are interested in joining a committee please contact me at the email address below.

This year’s Memorial Day weekend was especially meaningful as we reflected on the sacrifices of our fallen heroes, and enjoyed the thrill of gathering once again with family and friends.


Chris Kersten
Town Supervisor
Join the June Town Board Meeting on Zoom
Topic: Town of Hillsdale June Town Board Meeting
Time: Tuesday June 8, 7:00 PM
Join Zoom Meeting
Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 897 6125 6359

See the last item in this newsletter for Zoom links to other June board and committee meetings.
COVID Update
After spiking mid-month due to an outbreak at Barnwell Rehabilitation & Nursing in Valatie, Columbia County's COVID infection rate has dwindled to the lowest level in a year. With just no new positive cases of COVID-19 on Saturday the 29th, Columbia County had 27 active cases. Of these, four individuals were hospitalized, but none were in the ICU. Since the start of the pandemic Columbia County has had 4,244 cases and 94 deaths.

The County Health Department is now offering COVID-19 vaccine at its every Tuesday immunization clinics at 325 Columbia Street in Hudson. On Thursday June 3rd a clinic will be held at the Copake Recreational Center, 305 Mountainview Road, Copake. Both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available. If all of the appointment slots are not filled, the Health Department will accept walk-ups at this event. Walk-up registrants will be required to have photo ID. Click below for details on the Hudson and Copake clinics.

According to DOH Director Jack Mabb, the county is getting close to a 70 percent vaccination rate. "That’s closer to herd immunity than, for instance, we get with the flu shot, which ordinarily about 50 percent of county residents receive," he said. The county has started providing vaccinations for high school students, including holding a clinic at Taconic Hills last week.
Jams in the Hamlet Presents
 the Hudson Festival Players on June 19
Next up on the “Jams in the Hamlet” schedule will be the string quartet Hudson Festival Players on Saturday June 19, from 5 to 7 PM. The Hamlet Park opens at 4 PM for this event, with pre-show food and drink from local restaurants available for purchase.

Hudson Festival Players, who will perform a concert of string quartet music, features core members of the Hudson Festival Orchestra’s string section: Elizabeth Silver, violin; Rachel Handman, violin; Elizabeth Handman, viola; Erica Pickhardt, cello. Hudson Festival Orchestra (HFO), founded in 2019 by Artistic Director and Conductor Gwen Gould, is a professional orchestra based in the city of Hudson.

Admission to the concert is free, but donations toward the cost of the concert series are encouraged. While some seating will be available, attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.
Jams in the Hamlet is sponsored by the Hillsdale Hamlet Committee.
Car Show in Hamlet Park June 12
There will be a rumble of steel, chrome and rubber zooming into the Hamlet Park for the Hillsdale Car Show on Saturday, June 12 from 9:00am to 4:00pm. Admission is free. Relive the past with a stroll among these vintage time capsules, none newer than 1990. Don’t know a Corvette from a Cabriolet? Owners will be happy to explain, and you can vote for your favorite in the People’s Choice Award. Then stick around for when the rubber really meets the road at the 3:30 PM awards ceremony. The Car Show will include food from O’s Diner available for purchase, a 50/50 raffle, DJ, music and more! Want to show off your own vintage car? Registration is only $10 per car – email or show up at 8 AM the morning of the show.
The Scoop on the Village Scoop
Given the ages of its neighbors, you might assume that the Village Scoop building is historic, but as the Hillsdale Historians report this month, no, it is not. But yes ,it was a tattoo parlor for at least 20 years. Check out their blog and you'll learn who owned the building and for what purpose over the years. And as usual, you'll learn lots of interesting things about the owners... as well as other Hillsdalians! By the way, the Village Scoop is now open weekends.
Of Note.....
Hillsdale's Summer Youth Program in Roe Jan Park still has openings for this summer. The camp will operate from July 12 through August 20, Mondays through Fridays from 9 AM to 3 PM. Students ages five to 13 can attend.
For its future planning efforts, the Safe at Home Committee has sent out a questionnaire to seniors living in Hillsdale. The committee wants to learn more about Hillsdale's seniors and how they would like the committee to serve their needs and interests. If you have not received a questionnaire please click below or email to receive the questionnaire and if you have received one please complete and send back.  
Shredding bins will be available at Town Hall from June 7 to 26 during Town Clerk and Deputy Town Clerk hours. Papers deposited in secure bins will be destroyed by Certified Document Security LLC of North Chatham. This program is sponsored by the Columbia County Clerk's office.
The deadline to email your entry for the design of a new Town Seal for Hillsdale is this Saturday, June 5, by 5 PM. Scroll down on the Town Facebook page for details.
On opening Day of the Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market, May 22, over 900 people came to the market. Even though Memorial Day weekend was cold and rainy, attendance was again excellent. The market’s years long effort to reach out to SNAP (food stamp) recipients in the area is paying off. The market offers a generous "matching" program that doubles the buying power. Because so many more SNAP recipients are coming to the market to buy fresh, local produce and food, the market is asking for donations to help cover the cost of the SNAP matching funds.
New Broadband Funding on the Horizon
The Federal Communications Commission has launched a temporary program to help families and households struggling to afford Internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Broadband Benefit provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. Enrollment is now open.

A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below: 
  • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid or the FCC’s Lifeline program;
  • Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income through job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) using an online or mail in application.

You can learn more about the benefit, including eligibility and enrollment information by clicking below or by calling 833 511-0311.
Town Court Update
Hillsdale court continues to meet by pre-arranged appointments only. Pre-arranged civil cases are being heard on the first Wednesday of every month. Criminal and traffic cases meet the third Wednesday of every month. The next court date is June 16, starting at 4 PM. Please call the court at 518 325-5073 ext. 4 and leave your last name and phone number on the answering machine to request an appointment.
Zoom Links for Other June Meetings
Topic: Zoning Board Meeting
Time: Tuesday June 1, 7:30 PM 
Join Zoom Meeting
Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 846 2097 5002

Topic: Historic Hillsdale Committee Meeting
Time: Wednesday, June 2, 7 PM
Join Zoom Meeting
Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 874 1008 4899
Topic: Planning Board Meeting
Time: Monday, June 14, 7:30 PM
Join Zoom Meeting
Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID:865 4335 4268
Follow Hillsdale on our official Facebook and Instagram pages.
Have you seen 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.
Newsletter Editor: Meg Wormley