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News From Town Hall

Dear Hillsdale,

May, perhaps more than any other month of the year, inspires us to feel most alive. It is, after all, the month of Mother’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Memorial Day, as well as first grass mowing, lilacs, tulips, Lily of the Valley – and so many dandelions!

I’m pleased to report that, in this fifth month of the year, the Town continues to enjoy strong fiscal health and is preparing for a variety of seasonal events and the summer rec program, as well as continuing to plan for major repairs and needed enhancements to Town Hall.

In County news, the Food Scrap Program is planning to get underway. According to the EPA, landfills contribute more than 14 percent of all US methane emissions, and it estimates that food waste is the most common material feeding our landfills. At this writing, the composter that recycles the food waste on site, without odors or pest problems, has been installed at the Greenport Transfer Station. The program is slated to begin at all transfer stations, including Hillsdale, in the weeks ahead.

The County Board of Supervisors also heard from Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress CEO Adam Bosch about a study that examined the adoption of electric vehicles (EV) across our region and strategies to install the public charging infrastructure that will power our transportation in the future. Stating that “our transition to electric vehicles is one of the most substantial changes to transportation in many generations,” Bosch reported that Pattern will make stops across our region this year to help lawmakers, community leaders, and business owners learn about the strategic deployment of charging infrastructure as well as the funding sources that can help to pay for charging stations. He also noted that “The Hudson Valley must be smart and strategic about the installation of public charging stations, which are quickly becoming essential infrastructure … and are necessary for people who live in the region, visit our communities, and travel along our highways.”

Enjoy this merry month, and as Walt Whitman observed, “Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”

Chris Kersten

Town Supervisor

[email protected]

May Town Board Meeting

The May Town Board meeting will be on Tuesday, May 9. 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

Get Rid of Stuff at Hillsdale's Spring 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 13 from 8 AM till noon. Hillsdale residents (and only Hillsdale residents) can get rid of excess broken or non-working bulky items. NOT accepted will be tires, TV’s, computers, computer screens, chemicals and paint. Residents will have to empty their vehicles but Highway Department staff will be there to assist. 

Tentative Town Assessment Roll Available,

Grievance Day Scheduled for May 25

The Tentative Assessment Roll for the Town of Hillsdale is complete and a copy may be seen at the Hillsdale Town Hall during normal business hours until May 25 or at the link below. Pam Cook, the assessor, will be in attendance with the roll at the Town Hall on May 12 and 19, from 8:15 AM -12:15 PM, May 13 from 9 AM - 1 PM and May 18 from 4 -8 PM to answer any questions you may have regarding assessments or exemptions.


Grievance Day is Thursday, May 25 during the hours of 4 – 8 PM. At that time the Board of Assessment Review (BAR) will meet at Town Hall to hear and examine all properly filed complaints received on or before Grievance Day in relation to assessments of Real Property. If you disagree with your property’s assessment, in order to protect your right to assessment review you must file a formal written complaint with the BAR on or before Grievance Day. Grievance applications (RP524-complaint on real property assessment), which are required for all formal grievance complaints, can be found at the link below and are available from the assessor’s office. Mail the completed form to Hillsdale Town Hall, Assessor’s Office, POB 305, Hillsdale, NY 12529, drop it in the slot in the Town Hall front door, or bring the completed application in person for discussion on May 25. No appointment or prior conversation is needed to submit a grievance application.

Grievance Application
Tentative Assessment Roll

Hillsdale Achieves Bronze Certification

in the NYS Climate Smart Communities Program

Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced that Hillsdale was among the latest round of communities to achieve certification as part of New York State's Climate Smart Communities program, (link below) which supports local efforts to meet the economic, social, and environmental challenges posed by climate change. A placard recognizing the achievement will be installed at Town Hall.

Hochul said the announcement “signifies meaningful steps being taken by Hillsdale and 18 other local governments to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

"This Earth Week, we're celebrating New York's progress toward creating a cleaner, more sustainable future and the Climate Smart Communities program is key to helping us achieve these goals," Governor Hochul said. "This collaborative program empowers local governments to take action to meet the challenge of our changing climate. I commend these communities for implementing measures that will adapt to the ongoing impacts of climate change and increase community resilience to extreme weather."

Town Supervisor Chris Kersten applauded the announcement as “a significant milestone for Hillsdale in planning and implementing actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve community resilience to the worsening impacts of climate change. Thanks go to the Climate Smart Community Task Force whose members include Heather Canetto, Tom Carty, Coordinator Paul Duernberger, Gretchen Stevens, Robina Ward, and former Coordinator Howard Van Lenten,” said Kersten, “as well as the staff at Town Hall and many other community members who contributed to this initiative.”

Actions taken by Hillsdale include the installation of a heat pump at Town Hall, installation of LED street lights in the Hamlet along Main Street, adoption of a unified solar permit, bench-marking energy usage in town buildings, conducting a Greenhouse Gas inventory, installation of a electric vehicle charging station at Town Hall, and conducting energy code enforcement training for Town officials. A complete list of actions taken by Hillsdale can be found at the link below.

Paul Duerenberger, the newly appointed Coordinator of the Climate Smart Task Force, said that the organization’s next initiative “will be to conduct an assessment of areas where Hillsdale might be vulnerable to the effects of climate change and to adopt policies and procedures to mitigate their impact. In the coming months, the Task Force will be calling on a wide cross section of the community to participate in this effort.”

Hillsdale's Climate Smart Actions
Climate Smart Communities

Bits and Pieces From the Historians...

Elsie, a Mystery Building and a Sign

Hillsdale's Historians are always on the lookout for new information associated with a previously reported story, answers to questions that puzzle them, and, well, pretty much anything history related. This month's blog covers all three of those categories. There's more about Hillsdale's Elsie the Cow and reports on a mystery building and the resurrection of an historic sign. Is there some topic you would like them to investigate? Read their blog and send them a message!

Hillsdale Historians

Town Board Reviews List of

 Renovation Projects for Town Hall

At a special Town Board meeting on April 27, the board met in person and on Zoom with representatives of CPL, the town's engineering firm, to discuss in detail CPL's proposed list of renovations, and repairs to the Town Hall. CPL, which is assisting the town with design, project bidding, and construction planning, had prepared the list based on a thorough examination of the building from top to bottom.  

Recommendations include installing emergency power and a fire alarm system and replacing the concrete slab under the front columns. Gutters need to be reinforced and some new gutters installed. Flashing will be repaired and replaced. On the roof, broken slate roof tiles will be replaced and snow guards installed. Because of a substantial amount of mouse or rat droppings, insulation in the attic needs to be replaced. Some of the repairs will get rid of mold that has resulted from roof and gutter leaks. The presence of the mold requires extensive cleaning of surfaces and then the air in the building. 

A full list of projects, with costs, is available on the web site at the link below.

At the May meeting the board will decide whether to proceed with projects and if so which projects to put out for bid first.

Total cost, including two alternate projects, is $301,957 though the CPL representatives said that the costs are "professional estimates" and that bids will likely come in lower. The Board previously voted to spend up to $300,000 on the projects. The money will come from the General Fund.

Town Hall Renovations

Of Note.....

Spaces are going fast but you can still sign up your kid for Hillsdale's Summer Recreation Program at Roe Jan Park which will run this year from July 10 - August 18, Monday through Friday, from 9 AM to 3 PM. Registration forms are available on the town website (link below) and at Town Hall. Hillsdale residents and former campers are given first priority.

Hillsdale's Summer Rec Program


The Town of Hillsdale is requesting bids for the maintenance of the Hamlet Park and other town areas and memorials. The maintenance includes mowing, weed whacking, and mulching. A detailed list of the required maintenance is available by email to [email protected] or from the Town Clerk on Monday to Friday from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Call 518 325 5073 ext. 5 to make an appointment. Sealed bids must be delivered by hand or by mail to the Town Clerk at the Town Hall, PO Box 305, 2609 State Route 23, Hillsdale, NY 12529 by 4:00PM May 5.


The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, in collaboration with the Columbia County Human Resources and Civil Service Departments, will be hosting its first Public Safety Job Fair on Tuesday, May 2, at the Public Safety Building at 85 Industrial Tract, Hudson from 4 to 7 PM.

Deputy Sheriffs, Correction Officers and Jail Cook personnel from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office as well as 911 personnel will be on hand to discuss career opportunities available within their departments.

Human Resources and Civil Service representatives will also be in attendance to distribute information and answer questions about the benefits of working for Columbia County, Civil Service testable and non-testable positions, qualifications required of positions, and recent changes within Civil Service regarding testing for Corrections Officers.

This event is free and open to the public. Columbia County is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Sheriff’s Office is an equal opportunity civil service agency which is regulated by the Columbia County and State Civil Service Commissions.


To celebrate Small Business Week, a Small Business Networking Night, sponsored by Columbia Forward, is taking place Wednesday, May 3 from 5 - 7 PM at Iron & Grass Restaurant, 3521 Route 9, Hudson. The event is free to small business owners, but advance registration is required. Click the link below to register.

Small Business Networking Night

Well-known Actor with Hillsdale Home

to Talk at Coffee Hour

David Rasche, who has a recurring role in the HBO hit “Succession" as bigwig media executive Karl Muller, will be the speaker at the next Coffee Hour held by Hillsdale's Safe at Home Committee. Rasche, a theater, TV, and movie actor who has a home in Hillsdale, will talk about the life of an actor and, it is assumed, share some interesting inside anecdotes. The Coffee Hour, for Hillsdale seniors and soon to be seniors, is Tuesday, May 30 from 10 - 11:30 AM at Hillsdale House. Refreshments will be served and there will be time for conversation and connecting with friends and neighbors. If you have a question or need a ride call Natalie at 518 265-6789.

Planning Board Member Wanted

The Hillsdale Planning Board is seeking a new member. The charter of the Planning Board is to review and guide proposed development projects so that they are in compliance with the regulations set forth in the Hillsdale Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance. The principal goals of the Comprehensive Plan are to maintain the rural character of Hillsdale and protect the town's environment.

The Planning Board meets on the second Monday of every month at 7 PM. This is a non-remunerative position. If interested, please send a letter of intent and a resume to Peter Prado, Planning Board secretary, at [email protected].

Farmer's Market Returns May 20

The Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market launches another season on May 20. The market will operate every Saturday from 9 AM to 1 PM through November 18, at the Roe Jan Park on Route 22, across from the Roe Jan Community Library.

Almost all of the market’s farmers, food producers and artisans are returning this year. New vendors selling prepared food, cheese, fruit, and poultry are being added, bringing the total to about 30.

CHFM, Inc, the entity that operates the market, has been approved as a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization, opening up new opportunities for grants and sponsorships. Recently they were awarded a grant from Berkshire Taconic's Fund for Columbia County for needed software and equipment.

Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market


Library's Annual Gala to be at Catamount Again

The Roeliff Jansen Community Library's Gala will be Saturday, June 10, 5 to 7:30 PM, in, and outside, the Catamount Lodge at Catamount. The La Tavola food trucks will be back serving wood fired pizza, as will Aloha Tacos serving specialty tacos and, new this year, mini desserts. Wine and craft beer will be poured. This year the music will be the smooth jazz sounds of the Luke Franco Trio.

The Gala committee is currently gathering items, as well as gift certificates for activities and experiences to be bid for in the silent and live auctions.

"The Gala is the library's most important fundraiser each year," said library board president Pat Placona. "It provides vital funding for our day-to-day operating expenses." Tickets are available at the library and online at the link below.

RJCL Gala Tickets

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

  • Cinco de Mayo at the bibliotheca
  • Back to Nature: Gardening with Containers
  • Roe Jan Writers Series: Ned Schneier discusses his updated book, New York Politics: A Tale of Two States
  • Tech Lab: Traveling Apps - Navigation, Translation, Transportation & Maps
  • Photo Composition: Three Sessions to Better Pictures
  • Monthly Prose Writers Group
  • Armen Donelian in concert
  • History Webinar: The Story of Japanese-American Internment During World War II
  • Book Marks Book Club: reading The Dead March: A History of the Mexican-American War
  • Cookbook Club: Cooking any recipe from a Nigella Lawson cookbook
  • Tea Time at the Library: In the Garden with Master Gardener Linda Levitt
  • 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: Origami with Ella, Lego Thursdays, Home School Wednesdays, Playtime with Tia on Saturdays and Wednesdays

The library is located at 9091 Rt. 22.

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

RJHS Hosts Talk About the Railroad

Speaking next at the Roeliff Jansen Historical Society will be Ron Vincent, a lifelong train enthusiast and fourth generation member of the Vincent family originally from the Hillsdale/Copake area. Vincent's illustrated presentation, On the Rails in Roe Jan: Memories of New York Central's Upper Harlem Branch, will be based on his own recollections as well as extensive family records and photos which tell an informal history of 100 years of the railroad in the Roe Jan area. The talk will be Sunday, May 7 at 2 PM.


Ron lived near the New York Central Harlem Division line growing up, and worked unloading railroad cars in Hillsdale when he was 19. Palmer Vincent, Ron’s grandfather, served 38 years with the Railroad Post Office (RPO) riding from Chatham to Grand Central Terminal daily.


The Roeliff Jansen Historical Society is located at 8 Miles Road, Copake Falls. For details visit the web site (link below) or call 518-29-3251.

Roeliff Jansen Historical Society

The Friends of the Roe Jan Library need books! Books will be accepted at the Friends Book Shop on the lower level of the library every Saturday from 10 - 10:30 AM. 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

The Zoning Board will meet on Tuesday, May 2 at 7:30 PM (in person only) to hear the application of:

  • Charles & Julia Robb for a special permit for change of use to a short term rental at 2367 County Route 11.
  • Stephen Donnarumma and George Theodore for a special permit for driveway work within the stream corridor on Route 7D.

The Planning Board will meet on Monday, May 8 at 7 PM (in person only) to consider:

  • An application by Nancy Rankin, 360 Hunt Road, for construction of a small house

Hamlet Committee

Time: Wednesday, May 3, 6 PM


Passcode: 485746

Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 899 3315 1158

Economic Development Committee

Time: Wednesday, May 17, 11 AM


Passcode: 443143

Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID:  895 9663 0335

Conservation Advisory Council

Time: Thursday, May 25, 7 PM

Town Hall

Safe at Home Committee

Time: Friday, May 26, 3 PM

Cook & Larder, on Rt. 23 in the Hillsdale General Store Building

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Newsletter Editor: Meg Wormley

[email protected]

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