{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 Hillsdale,

In this penultimate report to you, I’m pleased and gratified that, as a result of a carefully planned and public budget process, the Town Board is poised to conduct a Public Hearing, followed by a vote to adopt the 2024 Budget at its November 14 meeting. The Preliminary Budget will be posted in advance of the Public Hearing, which will be held at 6:45 PM at Town Hall before the Town Board meeting.

At this writing, the project to address much needed repairs to Town Hall and the roof is moving forward. We are currently in the contract review stage with the two low bidders and will report on next steps to bring this project to reality at the November board meeting.

As well, the Town Board has agreed to proceed with the application process for a New York State Department of Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grant for our Streetscape project to incorporate pedestrian sidewalks with associated road and drainage improvements along Anthony Street, Cold Water Street, a portion of Maple Street and a portion of White Hill Lane. A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for qualified firms to assist with this project has been publicly posted with Statements of Qualifications due on November 20.

The Town is also actively recruiting for the positions of Sewer Operator, Custodian, and Secretary to the Planning Board. Interested persons are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. (See position announcement below.)

I leave you with an observation by Eleanor Roosevelt, who said “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.” And our responsibility is to vote on Tuesday, November 7 for the candidates of our choice.

Mary Lou and I wish you and your family a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving.


Chris Kersten

Town Supervisor

[email protected]

November Town Board Meeting & Public Hearing

The November Town Board meeting will be on Tuesday, November 14. The meeting will be held in person at Town Hall at 7 PM and will be available on Zoom. 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:  862 1516 1343

The Town Meeting will be proceeded by a Public Hearing on the 2024 Budget at 6:45 PM. The Preliminary Budget will soon be posted under 2024 on the Financial Statements page of the town website. (link below)

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 and the Agendas & Minutes page. 

Town Website
Agendas & Minutes
Town Board
Preliminary 2024 Budget

Voting Underway in Columbia County,

Eight Hillsdale Positions on Ballot

Voting in the 2023 General Election has started, with early voting now available at two sites in Columbia County: Columbia County Office Building, 401 State Street, Hudson and Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building, 3211 Church Street, Valatie.

Eligible voters in Columbia County can vote at either early voting location, at the following times, no matter where in the county the voter resides.  

  • Wednesday, November 1      Noon – 8 PM
  • Thursday, November 2          9 AM – 5 PM
  • Friday, November 3               9 AM – 5 PM
  • Saturday, November 4           9 AM – 5 PM
  • Sunday, November 5              9 AM – 5 PM

On election day, Tuesday, November 7, voters in both of Hillsdale’s two election districts will vote at the Hillsdale Firehouse, 9387 St. Rt. 22. Polls are open from 6 AM to 9 PM.

In Hillsdale, candidates are running unopposed for eight positions: supervisor, two town board seats, town clerk, tax collector, highway superintendent, and two town justices. County races include district attorney, judge, treasurer, and coroner. Also on the ballot are candidates for state supreme court justice and, on the back, two proposals. Link below to see a sample ballot.

2023 Sample Hillsdale General Election Ballot

Large Crowd Celebrates Unveiling of

Wayfinding Mural in Hamlet

A large and enthusiastic crowd gathered in the Hamlet Saturday afternoon for the unveiling of the new wayfinding mural on the Anthony Street side of the Hillsdale Supermarket. A project of the Economic Develoment Committee, the mural was painted by illustrator and Hillsdale resident Jane Buck, and depicts the streets and some of the buildings, mainly historic, in the Hamlet.

Supervisor Chris Kersten opened the celebration with thanks to the many people involved, including Chuck Weldon and Laurie Laverack, owners of the Hillsdale Supermarket, Matt White, the member of the Economic Development Committee who had the idea for mural, Jane Buck, and the people who donated the money that made the mural possible. As Chris noted, the mural was paid for entirely by donations so no tax dollars were used. (At right: Weldon, Laverack, Kersten, White, and Buck.)

Town Board and Economic Development Committee member Joanna Virello spoke next and presented Laurie and Jane with flowers that had been donated by Tiny Hearts Farm Flower Shop of Hillsdale. She then lead the crowd in a five, four, three chant to trigger the dropping of the green fabric covering the mural. The mural was welcomed with much applause and appreciation.

Historians Do a Deep Dive Into

History of the Mahicans in the Our Area

With the starting point of learning that the Mohican tribe, which once flourished in this area, will finally reestablish ties to its ancestral land -- the tribe is poised to purchase 351 acres at the northern tip of Monument Mountain in Great Barrington — the Hillsdale Historians have done extensive research into the history of the Mahican (or Mohican) Indians who once called this area home. Read their blog post to learn where the tribes once had their villages, the impact of the arrival of Europeans, how they served in the Revolutionary War, and how they were driven out of the area.

Hillsdale Historians Blog

Town Has Three Job Openings


Applicants are sought for a licensed Wastewater/Sewer Operator to perform a variety of skilled tasks associated with the treatment operation, and ongoing maintenance of Hillsdale's sewer district. The position is part-time, 10 to 20 hours a week, and requires on-call and weekends. The employee must hold, or be willing to obtain, a Grade 1 Wastewater Operator certificate.


High School diploma or equivalency diploma is required. Must hold a valid NYS driver's license throughout employment and reside in or near the Town of Hillsdale per NYS DEC requirements.



Applicants are sought for an experienced maintenance person to perform a variety of tasks at three locations in the town:

Town Hall: Painting and light carpentry, minimal handyman duties. Plumbing and electrical knowledge is a plus.

Roe Jan Park: Grass cutting.

Sewer Assistant: Daily checking of numbers and monitoring of sewer plant.

The position is part time, 15-20 hours a week. The employee must hold a valid NYS driver’s license and reside in or near the town of Hillsdale.



Applicants are sought for a Planning Board Secretary to perform a variety of clerical tasks for the Hillsdale Planning Board. Duties include attending a monthly meeting of the Planning Board and taking minutes, keeping track of applications, assuring that applicants have necessary documents in order to meet with the board, creating a monthly agenda, and collecting fees. Training on pertinent software will be provided.

This position requires about 20 hours per month, most of which can be completed from home.


The Town of Hillsdale is an Equal Opportunity Employer


To apply for any of these positions, send a letter of interest, including a brief bio and three references to the Town Clerk: [email protected] or PO Box 305, Hillsdale, NY 12529

Of Note.....

Hillsdale Highway Superintendent Richard Briggs reminds residents that the town does not pick up leaves. Residents are responsible for disposing of their leaves and should not blow them into town roads. Small residential yard waste, including grass clippings, leaves, and twigs, will be accepted at the Greenport Transfer Station for a charge of $5 plus $.03/pound. No material over two inches in diameter will be accepted.


In observance of Veteran's Day, all transfer stations in Columbia County, including the Greenport station and scale, will be closed on Friday, November 10 and Saturday November 11.


Shredding bins will be available at Town Hall from Monday, November 27 to Friday December 8. Hours are 10 AM – 2 PM, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.


COVID tests and KN95 masks are available for free at Town Hall. The tests were originally marked as expiring on 10-08-2023. That has been extended to January 2024. Tests are packaged two per box.


At the October Town Board meeting the Board approved the County providing $140,051 to the Community Rescue Squad from county property taxes paid by Hillsdale property owners. This is the rescue squad that sevices Hillsdale.


In an effort to better serve the adults and children of Columbia County, Open Access Hours at the Columbia County Mental Health Center are now 8:30 - 10:30 AM, Mondays and Tuesdays.

Columbia County Mental Health Center

Employers in Columbia County are being asked to compete a survey on how housing affordability is affecting them. The survey is being conducted by the county's Housing Task Force which is working to increase housing affordability, attainability, and availability in the county. The task force has heard many stories of how housing issues affect local businesses and wants to learn more.

Columbia County Housing Survey

Food Pantry Providing 118 Thanksgiving Boxes,

Donations of Cereal Needed

The volunteers of the Roe Jan Food Pantry are organizing to put together approximately 118 Thanksgiving boxes that will serve about 489 seniors, adults, teens, children and babies this year. In the boxes, which will be distributed on Saturday November 18, will be all the fixings for Thanksgiving dinner as well as food such as ground meat, hot dogs, spaghetti, vegetables, peanut butter, and jelly for additional meals.

Turkeys and much of the other food, including maple syrup, coffee packets, bagels, english muffins, and bread, have already been donated but the Pantry is asking people to donate boxes of cereal to be added to the boxes. Cereals for kids and adults are needed, both cold cereal and ones meant to be served hot. The boxes of cereal can be left in the vestibule at the back of the Hillsdale Firehouse. The firemen will let the Pantry know when boxes are there.

Copake Rapid Care May Reopen in Early 2024

Though it is not definite, it is possible that Copake Rapid Care (CRC) will reopen in early 2024.  Kirk Kneller, the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Columbia Memorial Health, which operated CRC, is projecting that the facility will reopen in January. The advocates for the reopening, representatives of the towns that were served by CRC, are hoping to soon get more details about a reopening, Reopening is contingent on hiring a physician assistant to head the center. Other staff that was reassigned when the facility closed during the pandemic would be brought back.

Coffee Hour to Focus on How to Achieve Gratitude,

Resource Guide Available

Karin Squires, the current pastor to five local Methodist Churches, will address how to achieve gratitude during the holiday season -- and hopefully be able to maintain it through our daily living -- at the next Safe at Home Coffee Hour, Tuesday November 28 from 10 - 11:30 AM at Hillsdale House. Community members of all backgrounds are invited to this non- sectarian presentation and to join in the conversation. As usual, there will be coffee, conversation and camaraderie.

Due to the holidays, the December Safe at Home Coffee Hour will be held earlier in the month, on Wednesday, the 13th from 10 -11:30 AM at Mount Washington House. Owner Kelly Sweet is hosting this special holiday Coffee Hour for Hillsdale’s senior, near seniors and neighbors. Details to follow in the December newsletter.

Safe at Home has mailed its Resource Guide for Home Repair and Maintenance to Hillsdale seniors . If you have not received a copy contact Natalie, 518 265-2113, or email [email protected].

Wednesday Walks on the Harlem Valley Rail Trail at 9:30 AM are continuing as long as the weather is good. New walkers are encouraged to join. Meet at the trail kiosk in the parking lot by Herrington’s.

Farmers Market Wraps Up Successful Season

After a busy season, with about 1,000 visitors a week, the Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market will be open three Saturdays in November, ending its season on Saturday November 18. Those who would like to place special holiday orders from vendors can find contact information on the Market’s web site. (Link below.)

The Market, which is a non-profit 501(c)3, was sponsored this year by donations from individuals as well as charitable organizations including Berkshire Agricultural Ventures, Farm Credit East, Berkshire Taconic Foundation Fund for Columbia County, and Negroni Family Foundation. “The market also emphatically thanks Bill and Zelda Furner for their tireless support of this farmers market,” said Board Director Laura Griffin.

Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market Vendors

East Gate Toll House Closer to Being Moved

Have you noticed that the wooden shingles are gone from the walls of the East Gate Toll House on Route 23 east of Mitchell Street? Friends of East Gate board members Steve Bluestone, Brandon Lentine, Edgar Masters and James Wagman, assisted by a few others, recently removed all the shingles, revealing the original clapboard siding of the toll house. Masters supplied scaffolding which assisted the removal of shingles from the higher elevations. Much of the clapboard is in good shape but some will eventually have to be replaced.

Because the toll house, one of the last remaining toll gate houses in New York State, is very close to Route 23 and so is partially on NYS Department of Transportation land, DOT could choose to make changes to the road and order the demolition of the toll house. In 2021, Friends of East Gate, the non-profit organization working to preserve the building, applied for and received a Technical Assistance Grant from the New York Preservation League. Those funds paid to have an engineering firm, Sopko Engineering, PLLC of Troy, NY, assess the soundness of the structure. The report funded by the grant says the structure is strong enough to move.

The Friends are making plans for the move and are now launching a campaign to raise the necessary funds. Thanks to generous donations from three individuals, they are halfway to their goal.

Friends of East Gate


User or Not, the Library Wants Your Input

Whether you are a power user of the Roeliff Jansen Community Library, or never use it, the library wants your input and opinions. The library is distributing a survey designed to gather information that will be used to guide decisions on library collections, programs, services, hours, communication, and more. You can complete the survey online (link below) or pick up a hard copy at the library, the Friends Book Shop or, after November 8, at the Hillsdale, Copake, or Ancram Town Halls.

Roe Jan Library Survey

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

  • Webinar: History and Culture of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans: Past & Present
  • Roe Jan Writers Series: Phyllis Carito - poet, writer and educator
  • Community Read - Story Walk: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
  • Community Read - Film Screening: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, at the Crandell Theatre in Chatham
  • Qigong & Tai Chi every Thursday
  • Octagon Club: conversation and camaraderie for those 80+
  • Tea Time at the Library: Sharon Flitterman-King - Writing My Heart: The Story of a Secret Star
  • Book Marks Book Club: reading This is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan
  • Cookbook Club: Cook and bring a Thanksgiving side dish from a Cooks Illustrated recipe
  • Free English-language tutoring 6 - 7:30 PM on Thursdays, by appointment; this tutoring program is intended primarily for adults
  • Job search and resume help

Programs for Kids: Build Your Own Fairy House, Lego Thursdays, Playtime with Tia on Wednesdays, Homeschool Wednesdays , and Storytime with Tia on Saturdays

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

The Friends of the Roe Jan Library Book Shop has thousand's of books for sale! The Book Shop is 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 at Town Hall on Tuesday, November 7 at 7:30 PM (in person only) to hear the applications of:

  • Lynne & Bradley Block for a change of use: short term rental at 66 Wolf Road
  • Thomas Schumacher & Matthew White for an area variance for steep slope regulations at 342 Mitchell Street

The Planning Board will meet at Town Hall on Monday, November 13 at 7 PM. The agenda will be available after November 7 on the Agenda & Minutes page of the town website. A PDF will be in the Agenda column with the date 2023-11-13.

Agendas & Minutes

Safe at Home Committee

Time: Monday, November 13, 3 PM

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

Economic Development Committee

Time: Wednesday, November 15, 11 AM


Passcode: 210372

Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID:  885 8523 3511

Conservation Advisory Council

No meeting in November

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

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

Instagram  Facebook  

Check out the Hillsdale Business Directory. From plumbers to galleries, restaurants to landscapers, 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

[email protected]

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