News from Town Hall
Daffodils are in full bloom in our garden as in yours, and we are eagerly anticipating the flowering of the fragrant lilac in a few weeks. Shakespeare gives us a hint of what is ahead: “As full of spirit as the month of May, and as gorgeous as the sun in Midsummer.”

I’m delighted to report that, along with the return of warmer weather and easing of COVID restrictions, the Town of Hillsdale hosted an informative public gathering on April 21 to discuss plans for new sidewalks, storm pipes, drainage and catch basins on Anthony, Cold Water and Maple Streets. Many thanks to Tim Moot of CPL Engineering and our Project Advisory Committee – Bart Ziegler, Gaye Hoffman, Robina Ward, Sharon King and Steve Bluestone – for their efforts in advancing this project. This Streetscape Project is especially exciting because, taken together with plans for Hamlet Park, it continues the vision of a larger plan to revitalize the Hamlet that began with major sidewalk improvements and lighting along Main Street, and connects the Hamlet to the Rail Trail. With the invaluable input of the community, we are now working with our new grant writer to seek funding opportunities. The project design boards will be on display at Town Hall and may be viewed during office hours.

I’d also like to touch briefly on the state of our Town’s finances. The news is very good. In our Annual Update Document (AUD) recently filed with the State Comptroller, Hillsdale maintained a General Fund balance of $1,194,479 as of December 31, 2021, an increase of $211,303 (22%) from the prior year. This increase, mainly due to increased sales tax and mortgage tax revenue, will enable the Town Board to make some strategic decisions. Likewise, the Highway Fund shows an unappropriated fund balance of $841,896, an increase of $145,506 from 2020 through careful budgeting and spending throughout the fiscal year. You may view the 2021 AUD posted on the Town’s website.

Best wishes to you,
Chris Kersten
Town Supervisor
May Town Board Meeting In Person,
Week Later Than Usual
The regular May Town Board meeting will be held in person at Town Hall on Tuesday May 17 at 7 pm.
Board to Hold Two Special Meetings
to Discuss Sewer Debt
On Thursday May 12 at 6 PM the Town Board will hold a special meeting to discuss the sewer debt. A second meeting, on Tuesday May 24 at 6 PM, will be particularly for property owners in the sewer district who will be affected by the sewer debt repayment plan. Both meetings will be in person at Town Hall.

At the June 14 regular board meeting, the board expects to decide on a repayment plan for the debt.
COVID Update
COVID cases in Columbia County continue to rise, as they do in surrounding counties. As of Tuesday April 26, there were 61 active cases, with five county residents hospitalized, none of them in the ICU. Since the start of the pandemic there have been 11,673 cases in the county and 141 deaths.

According to the new CDC COVID-19 Community Level tool, Columbia County's level has increased to "medium". 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.
Get Rid of Stuff at Hillsdale Clean Up Day
Hillsdale's annual Spring Clean Up Day will take place at the Town Highway Garage on Old Town Road on Saturday May 14 from 9 AM till noon. Hillsdale residents can get rid of excess, broken, bulky, non-working stuff. NOT accepted will be tires, TV’s, computers, computer screens, chemicals and paint. There is a $40 each charge to dispose of mattresses and box springs. Residents will have to empty their vehicles but Highway Department staff will be there to assist. 
Plans for New Sidewalks and
 Stormwater Drainage Discussed
About 20 residents gathered at Town Hall on April 21 to hear about plans to upgrade the sidewalks and stormwater drainage in Hillsdale’s hamlet. Town officials and an engineering firm hired by Hillsdale described how deteriorated sidewalks would be replaced on Cold Water Street and Anthony Street. In addition, the Anthony Street sidewalk would be extended southward and bend around the corner in front of the Roe Jan Brewing Co. along White Hill Street. From there, a crosswalk and short new sidewalk would link to the entrance of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail. In addition, new drainage pipes and catch basins would ease the pooling of water during rainstorms on those two streets as well as on Maple Street.

Photographic panels that depict the project remain on display at Town Hall. Funding is expected to come largely from government grants.
Residents Can Save on Electric Bills and Get $100 Bonus by Joining Community Solar
At its April meeting, the Town Board unanimously passed a resolution endorsing a Community Solar campaign to be managed by Hillsdale’s Climate Smart Communities Task Force.

Howard Van Lenten, coordinator of the Task Force, said that “when the campaign rolls out over the next several months, Hillsdale residents and businesses who pay NYSEG electric bills will have the opportunity to reap some of the benefits of renewable solar energy at absolutely no cost to them.”
Those who sign up,” said Van Lenten, “will receive a portion of their electric supply from an offsite solar vendor located in New York State and can expect to save up to 10 percent every month on their electricity supply charges. They will also receive a $100 cash bonus from the solar vendor just for signing up.”
The Town also benefits from getting behind Community Solar, Van Lenten noted. “In addition to enhancing Hillsdale’s overall quality of life, the Town will receive $50 from the solar vendor for each customer who participates. And once just 10 residents and businesses have signed up,” said Van Lenten, “the Town receives a $5,000 grant and points toward Bronze Certification as a Climate Smart Community, which opens up additional grant opportunities.”
Van Lenten said that the resolution passed by the Town Board “ the first step in the process to launch a Community Solar campaign. We must also get the approval of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which operates the program for New York State. We expect to get the green light in the next few weeks.”
 “Once we get approval, we can start rolling out the campaign with a Town-wide mailing, and information distributed by local organizations.” Van Lenten said that “the Task Force would also be distributing sign-up information in this newsletter and at places like the Farmers Market, the Roeliff Jansen Community Library, local businesses and Hillsdale’s social media platforms.
When Hillsdale Was a Town of
"rough and somewhat lawless people"
Sometimes when researching early Hillsdale families the Hillsdale Historians find themselves going down a rabbit hole that can stretch back centuries. For this month's blog they started researching information on Refine Latting, Hillsdale's first tanner and currier, and ended up in 1567 learning about Spain’s Duke of Alba. In researching the many generations of Lattings they also learned about Hillsdale's reputation as a place with "rough and somewhat lawless people" and the campaign of local people to take over the lands of Van Rensselaers and Livingstons. It's well worth reading!
County Collecting Hazardous Waste...
and Compost!
Columbia County's Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day is Saturday May 7 from 8 AM till noon at the County Highway Garage at 178 Route 23B, in Greenport. There is no charge for county residents but proof of residency is required. Link below to the list of what will and will not be accepted. Residents with a pick-up or van load to recycle must contact the DPW administrative office at 518 828-2737 prior to participating.

All Columbia County waste stations are now collecting food scraps for composting. The success of this program relies on the quality of the food scrap collected. Food and vegetable scraps, egg shells and coffee grounds can be placed in the bins. Meat and bones, pasta and grains, food cooked in oil, dairy products, coffee cups and other non-biodegradable waste can not be composted.

It is the long range goal of the Solid Waste Department to expand this program to include local community gardens and programs already operating in the county. As this is a pilot program, there is no charge at this time.
Of Note.....
Hillsdale’s Summer Youth Program is still accepting applications for both campers (aged 5-13) and counselors for this summer. This year the program will start on Monday, July 11 and run through Friday, August 19. Applications can be found on the Hillsdale web site or can be obtained at Town Hall .
Repaving of the Hillsdale Transfer station will take place on Monday and Tuesday May 2 and 3. Depending on the weather it may continue on Wednesday May 4 and the transfer station would not be open that day. If necessary, further information will be posted on the Columbia County Solid Waste Department website.

Gas cards worth $100 are still available to Hillsdale residents in need, thanks to am anonymous donation. To apply for one of the cards, send an email to and provide your name, address, phone number, email and a short description of your need for the card.  The number of cards is limited. Only one card will be given to a household. If you do not have access to email, call Tom Carty at 518 325-5260 to request a card.


If you haven’t paid your 2022 town property taxes yet, payments are due to the town by May 31 and must include a 4% penalty plus a $2 second notice fee. Any payments that do not include the penalty will be returned as will any received after June 1.

Effective June 1, unpaid property tax accounts are turned over to the County Treasurer’s Office for collection. Owners will be sent a reminder approximately the third week of June. Taxes can be paid directly to the county office with a 1% penalty per month. Contact the office at 518 828-0513 to confirm the amount due.


At their April meeting the Town Board approved installing 48 solar panels on the roof of the town highway garage. A portion of the cost will be covered by NYSERDA grants lowering the cost to the town by almost 50% to $28,667.
Tentative Assessment Roll Available, Grievance Day Set
Hillsdale’s 2022 Tentative Assessment Roll has been completed. Property owners can review a copy at Town Hall during normal business hours until May 26. 
The town Assessor will be at Town Hall with the Tentative Assessment Roll on May 6, 13 and 20, during the hours of 8:15 AM-12:15 PM, May 19 from 4 PM-8 PM and May 14 from 9 AM-1 PM.

Grievance Day, when the Board of Assessment Review for the town meets to hear and examine all properly filed complaints in relation to assessments of Real Property, will be May 26 from 4 PM to 8 PM at the Town Hall.

A publication containing procedures for contesting an assessment is available at the Assessor’s Office, the Columbia County Real Property Office in Hudson and online.
The Moths Now Called Spongy Are Coming Back
Spongy moths, formerly known as gypsy moths, will be appearing in Hillsdale again very soon. The new, less derogatory name for this moth refers to the appearance of the porous, fluffy, egg masses that the female moths deposit on trees in the summer. After the big infestation last year, and huge number of egg masses deposited on trees, an even larger outbreak is expected this summer. In the larvae or caterpillar stage, trees are stripped of leaves, turning whole forests from green to brown in a few weeks. The caterpillars favor oak leaves, but will also consume leaves of many other hardwood trees and shrubs, and even white pine.

What can you do to protect your trees? For your forest trees—nothing. Most will survive, even those that seem to be completely defoliated, and many will put out new leaves later in the summer. A fungus and a virus—already present in our forestsserve as the main natural enemies of the spongy moth. When the moth larvae are present in large numbers, these organisms rise to the occasion and reduce the populations to harmless levels. The defoliation can weaken the trees, however, and make them more vulnerable to the effects of drought, heat, and diseases.

If you want to protect a few lawn trees, you can apply “sticky bands” and “burlap barriers” to the trunks. Both treatments “capture” the larvae crawling up and down the tree. There are two approaches to sticky bands: 1) wrap two-sided duct tape around the tree. 2) wrap the tree in several inches of stretchy tree wrap (or duct tape) onto which a sticky substance is applied. There are You Tube videos such as "Tree wrapping to mitigate spongy moths" as well as online articles such as "Spongy Moth(Lymantria disbar) in Wisconsin" that demonstrate the application of both of these approaches. The burlap barriers involves wrapping the tree in a 4-inch wide band of overlapping burlap that traps the caterpillars as they crawl up trees so that you can manually remove them. See“Lymantria dispar dispar (LDD) Burlap Banding" on YouTube.

Sticky bands can be hazardous to other animals so check the bands frequently. To reduce the chance of birds contacting the sticky surface, you can cover the band with chicken wire or mesh screening.

If your tree is small enough, you can remove the larvae by hand, using a ladder to get to higher parts of the trunk and branches. If your lawn trees are within 100 feet or so of a forest, ballooning larvae (they spins a silken thread that allows them to be windblown to nearby trees) are likely to thwart any of these measures, so unfortunately, you’ll have to endure the infestation. If your lawn trees and your forest trees are in good health, they are likely to survive. 
Fire Company to Hold Chicken BBQ,
Has Tips on Avoiding False Alarms
There will be no need to cook dinner on Saturday May 21. Instead buy your chicken BBQ dinner from the firemen of Hillsdale Fire Company. You'll get half a chicken, coleslaw, baked beans, baked potato, roll, and a slice of watermelon for $18 if you pay by cash or check or $18.50 if you pay by credit card. Meals must be pre-ordered by 3 PM Sunday May 15 by calling a member or 518-325-4741 and are pick-up only. A limited amount of meals available will be available so order soon.

Almost half the calls the fire company made in 2021 were false alarms. Fire Chief Richard Briggs says there are ways to reduce the number of false alarms. He recommends having your alarm system properly maintained and checked at least once a year. When cooking, try not to forget the pot that is on the burner and make sure you have proper ventilation in your kitchen so that if the food burns it doesn't unnecessarily set off your fire alarm.

Briggs also recommends that if you are only at your home part time, you leave a key with someone who is listed as a key holder with your alarm company so the fire company can contact the key holder and get access to your home if there is an alarm.
Farmers Market Opens May 21
Opening day for 2022 for the Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market at Roe Jan Park is Saturday, May 21st. The market will be open weekly, from 9 AM to 1 PM, through November 19.

The market will again be a source for healthy and handmade foods: produce, meat, poultry, cured meats, eggs, cheese, baked goods, beer, wine, spirits, coffee, honey, maple syrup, jams, jellies, prepared food, pesto, pickles, and a variety of specialty items such as spiced pumpkin seeds, natural body care, bitters, lemonade, breakfast sandwiches, and gluten-free products.

Not only does the market accepts SNAP (food stamps), they double them. This is an important part of the market's mission to make healthful food s available to all. They also accept other assistance programs such as Fresh Connect, Double Up, and Farmers Nutrition Program.

As in previous years, the market will have ample parking (including handicapped), umbrella tables, live music, a hand washing station, weekly artisan crafters, and kids' programming. Leashed dogs will be allowed.
Coffee Hours for Seniors Resume
Coffee Hours for seniors, sponsored by Hillsdale’s Safe at Home Committee, are resuming on Tuesday, May 24 from 10:00 - 11:30 AM at Hillsdale House. The committee is grateful to owner Carmen Barbato Jr. for hosting Hillsdale's seniors who enjoy getting together and socializing over coffee and cake. The Coffee Hours will be held the last Tuesday of every month.

At the May coffee hour, Wendy Waldo Garfield will speak about strategies for reducing the risks of falls. "For older adults falls are a major gateway to hospitalization and we all want to ensure we age safely" says Wendy. Wendy has a degree in performing arts from Adelphi University, a graduate degree from California State University in Kinesiology, and is a Certified Balance and Mobility Specialist. 

Call Natalie at 518 265 2113 with any questions.
Make Sure Your Water is Safe
for Drinking and Swimming
As the weather gets warmer, it’s a good time to test your private water supply -- your well or backyard pond or stream -- recommends Hillsdale’s Conservation Advisory Council. Ideally, testing should be done every five years, especially if your water supply is in a vulnerable location such as near roads, agricultural land, septic leach fields, or other potential sources of contamination. Testing can be accomplished by purchasing testing kits, taking samples yourself, and sending them to an environmental lab for analysis, or by hiring a testing service.

Local companies that deal with pumps and wells offer testing services and other companies can be found online. Your water can be tested for bacteria (total coliform and E.coli), hardness, iron, pH, manganese, sulfur, total dissolved solids, heavy metals such as copper, lead, and arsenic, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrate, nitrites, chloride, sodium, fluoride, and sulfate. Depending on the kind of analysis, costs may range from $50 to several hundred dollars.
Upcoming Events in the Area
A Teen and Youth Job Fair open to those age 14 to 24 will be held at the Roeliff Jansen Community Library on Saturday May 21. Adult programs in May include one on the NYS Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. There will be a documentary in which His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu share science-backed wisdom of how to live with joy in troubled times. Columbia-Greene Workforce will hold meetings re job searching and job training. Balance and Strength classes will be on Zoom. For kids there will be story times, Homeschool Wednesdays, Lego Thursdays, a Cinco de Mayo Family event and programs on insects and on nanotechnology. The library is located at 9091 Rt. 22.
The Roe Jan Library Friends Bookshop will be open on Saturday, May 14 from 10 AM to 2 PM and then open every Saturday from May 28 to September 3. Thousands of gently used books, CD’s and DVD’s will be for sale. Masks are required. To donate books, email Celia Kahn at The bookshop is located on the lower level of the library at 9091 Rt. 22.

Save the Date: Roe Jan Community Library Gala in the Catamount Lodge at Catamount, Saturday, June 25. Food trucks will serve a selection of wood-fired pizzas, Korean style tacos and more, and there will be local craft beer and wine, live music by the Bash Bish Bluegrass Band, and live and silent auctions.
Good Works for Hillsdale
The Hillsdale Economic and Community Development Corporation (HECDC) promotes and supports important town projects, and your tax-deductible donation can go directly to the good works of your choice. Ongoing fundraisers include:

· Roe Jan Park maintenance and improvements
· A new Town Hall flagpole
· Winter lamp post banners

Details and opportunities to donate are on the Hillsdale Civic Pride webpage. Click below or on the "Support Our Projects" button on the Hillsdale web site home page.
Upcoming Town Meetings

The Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a public hearing on Tuesday May 3 at 7:30 PM at the Town Hall to consider two applications:

  • An application by James and Pamela Carden for the expansion of their current special use permit for Taconic Ridge Farm at 2846 State Route 23.
  • Valerie and Andrew Saunders for a Special Permit for a change of use; short term rental at 22 Springbrook Lane, Hillsdale NY. 

The Planning Board will meet on Monday May 9, at 7 PM (note time change) at the Town Hall. On the agenda are:

  • Michael Chen: Schmeichel Road Site Plan review in the Ridgeline Overlay district.
  • Ken Sabin: A subdivision of property on Route 23.
  • Robert and Jill Bernstein: a Site plan review for an addition at 171 White Hill Lane in the Ridgeline Overlay district. 
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.

Open Space Project
Time: Thursday May 12, 7 PM
Passcode: 668044
Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 894 1748 3967

Economic Development Committee
Time: Wednesday May 25, 11 AM
Passcode: 999197
Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 895 7333 8591

Conservation Advisory Council
Time: Thursday May 26, 7 PM
Passcode: 924570
Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 847 1261 5662
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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.
Newsletter Editor: Meg Wormley