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News From Town Hall

Dear Hillsdale,

I hope you have enjoyed a happy and meaningful Memorial Day weekend that, in addition to marking the unofficial beginning of summer, recognizes the commitment of members of America’s military services and honors those who lost their lives while defending their country. We salute them.

And now it’s June. As John Steinbeck put it, “In early June the world of leaf and blade and flowers explode, and every sunset is different.”

In Hillsdale news, I reported previously that the Town Board is moving forward with urgently needed repairs to Town Hall. At this writing, the bid package has been completed and posted. Bids are due at Town Hall on June 22, and the Board will vote to approve the recommended bid at its July 11 meeting. We will look forward to everyone’s understanding and cooperation during the construction phase. It is anticipated that the project will be completed by the end of this year.

I’m also pleased to report that Hillsdale’s Summer Recreation Program has enrolled about 70 children, a gratifying increase over last year.

And I also want to commend Richard Briggs and the Highway Department for widening the Whippoorwill Road intersection with Route 22 to creates greater visibility and safety.

At the County level, Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell has issued a “Migrant/Asylum Seekers State of Emergency.” Citing that Columbia County already has an unusually high number of homeless persons, Murell further states: “Please cross Columbia County off the list of possible migrant transfer destinations as our limited infrastructure resources and housing options do not allow for an influx of homeless migrants.” A bipartisan group of county supervisors, the Mayor of Hudson and various county department heads are continuing to monitor the situation.

Also, at its May meeting, the Board of Supervisors approved new real property tax exemption income limits for senior citizens, disabled and low income residents, as well as changes in the exemption for volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers. Hillsdale’s Town Board will now consider via new local laws whether to remain at previous income levels, enact new higher levels or settle on something in between.

Best wishes,

Chris Kersten

Town Supervisor

[email protected]

June Town Board Meeting

The June Town Board meeting will be on Tuesday, June 13. The meeting will be held in person at Town Hall at 7 PM and will also be available on Zoom using the videoconferencing equipment recently installed in Town Hall. People participating via Zoom will be able to make comments during the designated Public Comment times at the beginning and end of the meeting.


Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 826 2336 5260

Documents that will be referred to at the town board meeting will be posted on the Agendas & Minutes page of the town website a few days before the meeting. Minutes of previous Town Board meetings are posted on the Town Board page. 

Town Website
Agendas & Minutes
Town Board

Harvey Granat to Sing From the "Great American Songbook" At Safe at Home Coffee Hour

Entertainer/singer Harvey Granat, along with his accompanist, Rob Kelly, will present a "Great American Songbook" program featuring songs of Gershwin, Porter, Berlin and other great composers at the Safe at Home Coffee Hour on Tuesday, June 27 from 10 – 11:30 AM at the Hillsdale House. Granat is known not only for his singing but also his in-depth knowledge of the composers and lyricists of the songs he sings. He regularly performs at some of the leading venues in New York and Florida and is in his tenth year of doing shows at Canyon Ranch in Lenox and his eighth year of popular programs at the 92nd St Y in NYC. He and his wife, Phyllis, are full-time residents of Hillsdale. As always, free coffee, fruit and muffins will be served at the Coffee Hour and there will be plenty of opportunity to converse with neighbors and friends. If you need more information or a ride, please call Natalie at 518 265-6789.

At every Coffee Hour, Safe at Home will have materials for participating in the Yellow Dot Program in collaboration with Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. Yellow Dot is a free program designed to help first responders provide life-saving medical attention during that first “golden hour” after a vehicle crash or an emergency in your home. The Yellow Dot envelope contains medical information cards and Yellow Dot decals. Participants complete the cards, attach a recent photo, and place one in the glove compartment of their vehicle and one in the freezer of their refrigerator. One Yellow Dot decal is to be placed on the rear driver’s side window of their car and the other on the door of their home. First responders arriving at the scene of an emergency will be alerted by the Yellow Dot decal to look for the medical information card in the glove compartment or refrigerator freezer.

Safe at Home will also be distributing free “sharps containers” supplied by Columbia County Health Department’s Project Needle Smart, a collection program for safe needle and syringe disposal. Used syringes and needles can be placed in the container and then containers can be dropped off at kiosk locations at the Hudson Police Department at 701a Union Street in Hudson or at Hannaford in Livingston and Valatie.

More About Harvey Granat

The Mount Washington House:

From Hotel to AirBnB, a 142 Year History

If you were one of the more affluent visitors to Hillsdale in the early 1880's, there's a good chance you would have stayed at the Mount Washington House. After all, as was touted in an ad, it had cold AND hot running water! This month the historians have traced The Mount through many owner, all of whom operated it as a hotel or boarding house. To find out why Duncan Hines recommended it, when it served a smorgasbord, and when it was a favorite of skiers arriving by train, read this month's blog post by the Hillsdale Historians.

Hillsdale Historians

Of Note.....

Shredding bins will be available in Town Hall from Tuesday, June 5 to Friday, June 23. Hours are 10 AM – 2 PM, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.


At the May meeting the Town Board approved hiring Ramona Bellamy as Deputy Town Clerk. Ramona will do the data entry necessary to add Town Board minutes going back to 2000 to eCode360, the online platform for municipal laws and documents. Currently all Hillsdale laws are posted and searchable on the eCode 360.

Hillsdale's eCode360

Hillsdale's share of first quarter county sales tax was 130299.54, a higher than usual amount. According to Supervisor Chris Kersten, the town's finances are in excellent condition.


At the May meeting Town Supervisor Chris Kersten announced that, as approved at the March meeting, $87,886.71 in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds had been withdrawn from the town's general account and deposited in the sewer district account. These funds will be used for operational expenditures and upgrades, such as cleaning and inspecting tanks. By June 15, the sewer district will make the first of six payments to the town to repay its debt.

Farmers Market Donating Food Vouchers to

 Roe Jan Foods Pantry Patrons

Thanks to a grant from Berkshire Agricultural Ventures, the Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market is donating $900 worth of $30 food vouchers to patrons of the Roe Jan Food Pantry as an additional way to work against local food insecurity.

Back again this year is the "Farm Market Kids" program that is offered at the market by the Roeliff Jansen Community Library every Saturday from 10 AM - 12 PM. Each week kids enjoy stories and crafts, often focused on nature and produce.

Community Guests at the Framers Market in June are the Harlem Valley Rail Trail and the NY State of Health.

Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market

Hillsdale History Documentary

 to be Shown at Farmer's Market

A two-part video documentary on Hillsdale history will be shown at the Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market on July 1, September 2 and October 7 from 10 AM to 1 PM. The videos were created by Hillsdale residents Julie Brandi and Marilyn Herrington. The video "Portraits of Hillsdale" includes interviews with a diverse group of long-time Hillsdale residents and captures their unique and often extraordinary first hand stories of the daily life, places and the people they experienced and knew throughout the years. "Hillsdale: Our Story" is a 20 minute overview of the town's history.

Hillsdale: Our Stories & Portraits

Hillsdale Agrees to Again Sponsor Roe Jan Ramble

At its May 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 23, will offer a variety of 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.

Roe Jan Ramble


Library to Auction Unique Items and Experiences at Gala

Among the items to be auctioned in the Live and Silent Auctions at this year's Roeliff Jansen Community Gala on Saturday, June 10 are a catered dinner with wine pairings for six, an eight to twelve foot tree to be planted on your property , a customizable photo shoot from award-winning local photographer Jane Feldman, NY Mets tickets, Catamount zip line passes, two lawn tickets to the sold-out James Taylor July 4 concert at Tanglewood, gift certificates from local restaurants and stores, handmade items from local artists, and more. The Gala will be from 5 to 7:30 PM, in, and outside, the Catamount Lodge at Catamount.

Attendees will enjoy the smooth jazz of the Luke Franco Trio and tasty food and drink. Tickets are available at the library and online at the link below.

RJCL Gala Tickets

Adult programs at the Roe Jan Community Library in June include:

  • Qigong & Tai Chi every Thursday 10:30 - 11:30 AM
  • Eagles Stage Band Concert at Roe Jan Park
  • Roe Jan Writers Series: J. Mae Barizo will read from and discuss her new book of poetry, Tender Machines
  • Octagon Club: conversation and camaraderie for those 80+
  • Monthly Prose Writers Group
  • "Ring Around the Rosegarten", art exhibit by RJ Rosegarten
  • Book Marks Book Club: reading An Immense World, by Ed Yong
  • Cookbook Club: Everyone cooks a recipe from same cookbook/chef
  • Tea Time at the Library: Travel Tips
  • Chess Club: All ages welcome
  • Free English-language tutoring 6 - 7:30 PM on Thursdays, by appointment; this tutoring program is intended primarily for adults
  • Strength & Balance Class on Zoom
  • Job search and resume help

For kids: Lego Thursdays, Home School Wednesdays, Playtime with Tia on Wednesdays, and Farm Market Kids on Saturdays at the Farmers Market

The library is located at 9091 Rt. 22.

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

The Friends of the Roe Jan Library need books to sell! Books will be accepted at the Friends Book Shop on the lower level of the library every Saturday from 10 AM - 1:30 PM. The Book Shop in now open every Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM. The library is located at 9091 Rt. 22.

Upcoming Town Meetings

Neither the Zoning Board nor the Planning Board will meet in June.

Hamlet Committee

Time: Monday, June 5 , 6 PM


Passcode: 542075

Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 861 4598 9072

Economic Development Committee

Time: Wednesday, June 21, 11 AM


Passcode: 708650

Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID:  891 0438 6811

Conservation Advisory Council

Time: Thursday, June 22, 7 PM

Town Hall

Safe at Home Committee

Time: Monday, June 26, 10:30 AM

Home of Dee Crawford, 572 Collins Street

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Newsletter Editor: Meg Wormley

[email protected]

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