News from Town Hall

We greet fall with its cooler temperatures, the beauty of colorful foliage and the bounty of local produce, all available at the Copake HILLSDALE Farmers Market every Saturday this month.

So, the perfect way to celebrate the fall season is to attend Hillsdale’s Pumpkin Festival on Saturday, October 9th at Hamlet Park, featuring activities for all ages. Kudos to the hard working Hamlet Committee for organizing this year’s festivities.

At Town Hall, we have kicked-off our annual budget preparations for the 2022 budget, and are moving forward with the programs and projects on our priority list.

I also want to thank the many persons who wrote to me about our affordable housing initiatives. Your views on this and other matters are important and greatly appreciated.

Finally, please take a moment to join me in remembering Bill Anglum, a former Town Supervisor and Town Justice, and John Dodds, Jr., a former member of the Zoning Board and husband of former Town Clerk Ruth Dodds, who survives him. We thank them for their public service and express our sympathies to their families.

I wish you and your loved ones a lovely fall season and continued safety as we struggle with the Delta variant in our county.

Chris Kersten
Town Supervisor
October Town Board Meeting on Zoom
The October Town Board meeting will be held on Zoom on Tuesday October 12 at 7 PM. For the two Public Comment sessions during the meeting the Zoom moderator will ask attendees if they want to be unmuted in order to make a comment or ask a question. Zoom attendees will be muted at all other times.

Town of Hillsdale October Town Board Meeting
Time: Tuesday October 12, 7:00 PM
Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 850 2012 1223
COVID Update
Columbia County's COVID-19 rate remains high. As of Tuesday the 28th the in-county infection positivity rate stood at 6.77 percent. There were 114 active cases and three people were hospitalized. None were in ICU. Since the start of the pandemic Columbia County has had 5,054 cases and 102 deaths.

County DOH Director Jack Mabb announced that the county Department of Health has revised its approach to COVID-19 testing. “In the face of the recent surge in demand for testing at the county DOH we must refocus the use of our limited testing resources on helping us uncover family, business and school clusters that will help slow the spread of the variant. We just don’t have the test kits to keep up with the pace of testing in recent weeks. Individuals who are asymptomatic are being encouraged to go to community test sites.”

Vaccination opportunities are posted on the county DOH website as are drive-thru flu shot clinics.
Make Your Voice Heard: Should Hillsdale Have
Retail Marijuana Dispensaries?
Hillsdale will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday, October 6th at 6:30 PM to seek community input on whether retail cannabis dispensaries and on-site consumption facilities should be permitted in the town. The meeting will be virtual, via Zoom. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) passed in New York State this past March allows municipalities such as Hillsdale to make these decisions. A municipality that does not want them has to opt-out by adopting a local law stating such by December 31 of this year.

Supervisor Chris Kersten will open the proceedings with an overview of the purpose of the meeting and Town Board Member Tom Carty will summarize the major points of the law, particularly as they pertain to Hillsdale. The hearing will then be opened for comments from the public. You must register in order to comment.

There are two ways to register. Pre-register by sending an email to  [email protected] with "Cannabis" in the subject line. Just state your name in the body of the email, and you will be put on a list. People who have pre-reigistered to comment will be called upon in the order their emails were received. You can also register during the meeting by posting your name in the comments section. You will be called upon to comment in the order your request was received. Each person will only be allowed to comment once during the hearing.

Time: Wednesday October 6, 6:30PM
Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 857 5935 5548

A summary of the law and a detailed report are available on the town website.
Scarecrows, Music, Food and More at
10th Pumpkin Festival on October 9
The 10th annual Hillsdale Pumpkin Festival will take place at businesses throughout the town and in Hamlet Park, at the corner of Routes 22 and 23, on Saturday October 9 from 11 AM. to 4 PM. Enjoy live music, seasonal displays and activities, a bake sale, community tables, police and sheriff’s department exhibits and a BBQ dinner.

A “Gathering of Scarecrows” will take place at 11 AM at Town Hall. The theme for this year's competition to create and decorate a scarecrow is “Superheroes and Villains.” Following the contest participants and the public will parade down Main Street to the Hamlet Park. Costumes are encouraged for all.

Children 12 and under can take free pony rides starting at 2 PM, weather permitting, at BridleWood Dressage, 35 Sir William Farm Road in Hillsdale.

At the park, tour the Columbia County Sheriff Department’s Remote Police Command vehicle and sign up for the agency’s ID program. Visit with working police dogs, see the drones used by police, and check out the New York State Police’s “Rollover,” which simulates the injuries in a 35 m.p.h. crash on crash dummies to promote seat belt use.

At the Roe Jan Community Library, one mile south of the Hamlet Park on Route 22, children can enjoy pumpkin painting starting at 1 PM. The event is free but pre-registration required. To sign up, email [email protected].

You can finish the day with a chicken BBQ dinner from the Hillsdale Fire Company. A half chicken with fixings is $15. Pre-order is required. Email [email protected] or call Emily at 518 938-1585 to reserve a meal. Dinners will be available for pickup at the fire station, just north of the hamlet on Route 22, starting at 4 p.m.
Final Jams in the Hamlet:
 Community Talent Show at Pumpkin Festival
Do you love to entertain? Do you have a talent you would like to share with your fellow Hillsdalians on the “Jams in the Hamlet” stage? The finale in the Jams series will be a community talent show held during the Pumpkin Festival in the Hamlet Park on Saturday October 9. Music, comedy, spoken word, magic, movement, or something else… showcase your talent. All ages are welcome to participate, on your own or part of a group. Each performance can be up to 10 minutes long. If you are interested in participating email [email protected].
Complete the Hillsdale Open Space Survey
A public survey to gather ideas and information about the open spaces that are of greatest importance to the people of Hillsdale has been created by the Hillsdale Open Space working group. The survey can be completed and submitted online or on paper. Printed copies of the survey can be picked up and submitted at the circulation desk of the Roe Jan Community Library and in the front vestibule at the Hillsdale Town Hall. The survey takes only a couple of minutes to complete. The working group hopes to hear from all residents, businesses, and visitors over the next few weeks.
A group of six Cornell University students was in town on the weekend of September 25 and 26 to see the Hillsdale landscape, talk to townspeople about open space, and promote the public survey. They had tables and conversations at the Farmers Market and outside the IGA on Saturday, and spent the rest of the weekend touring the town and talking to farmers and others. The students will assist the Hillsdale Open Space working group with analyzing the results of the survey, identifying the open space areas that are most important to the Hillsdale public, and developing a plan for protecting the most important natural resources, farmland, and scenic areas of the town.
The public survey will be open through October, and the Open Space Inventory report is expected to be completed in spring 2022. For more information about the project or to contribute ideas, contact Gretchen Stevens at [email protected].
Tags to Replace Bags at Transfer Stations
Because the vendor for bags used at Columbia County transfer stations is canceling the contract due to their inability to secure materials, the Columbia County Solid Waste Department is switching from bags to a tag system. This has the additional advantage of limiting the amount of plastic being disposed of in the landfill.

Transfer stations will start distributing tags as the inventory of remaining bags runs out. The new tag system will consist of three different colored tags. A tag must be affixed to each bag being disposed of, either around neck of bag or the bag itself. The tags are for up to 10, 30 and 56 gallon bags. One tag is required for each plastic trash bag. It is recommended that garbage tags be purchased as a sheet (5 tags/sheet).

Residents can continue to use the current county bags (without tags) until their supply runs out.
Of Note.....
The Taconic Hills Cross Country Team will host meets at the Roe Jan Park on Tuesday October 12 from 3:30 to 5:30 PM and Tuesday Oct 26 from 9 AM to 12 PM. All trails in the park will be closed to the public during these hours.

The Town Board held an initial 2022 budget workshop on September 29. A second workshop will be held on Zoom on Thursday October 7.
Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 865 9570 7636

An October 16 Senior Chore Services Day is being organized by the Safe at Home Committee to help seniors with outdoor chores around the house and yard. This volunteer project will help seniors get ready for winter. Tasks can include cleaning trash from the yard, moving outdoor furniture, cleaning ground floor windows from outside, and raking leaves. For more information for yourself or a neighbor or if you wish to volunteer, call Natalie at 518 265-2113 or email [email protected].

A new button, saying "Support Our Projects" has been added to the home page of Hillsdale's website, linking to information about the Hillsdale Economic and Development Corporation. Established in 2006 as a 501(c)3 (non-profit) organization, the HECDC is committed to supporting Hillsdale-based projects that enhance the quality of life for town residents. Contributions have been used to restore public buildings and monuments and to promote economic opportunities. Current funding opportunities include plaques for historic district buildings, a Town Hall flagpole, winter lamppost banners, and the Roeliff Jansen Park.

The Hillsdale Highway Department has installed two warning signs on Whippoorwill Road approaching the dangerous intersection with Route 22. Reflecting tape will be added to the poles shortly to call further attention to the signs. The Town Board continues to work on a more permanent solution.

Effective Friday, October 1, the hours for the CMH Rapid Care office located at 283 Mountain View Rd in Copake will be 9 - 3 PM on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. It will be closed on other days. The Columbia Memorial Emergency Room located at 71 Prospect Ave in Hudson is open 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
Farmers Market Continues Through November 20
Though the weather is getting cooler you can continue to easily buy local produce, meat, cheese and more. The Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market has had a successful summer and will be open at Roeliff Jansen Park, from 9 AM to 1 PM, every Saturday through November 20, the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

The market ensures a a safe and responsible environment, with handwashing stations, encouraging masks though not mandating them, and advising social distancing

SNAP use (food stamps) has increased greatly from prior seasons meaning that more people are enjoying fresh, local food. The market doubles the buying power of shoppers using SNAP.
Absentee and Early Voting Information
For the November 2021 General Election, the risk of exposure to Covid is a valid reason for obtaining an absentee ballot. A voter desiring to vote by absentee ballot due to Covid concerns should select "temporary illness" as the reason given on the application for the ballot.

All requests for absentee ballots that are to be mailed to the voter must be received by October 18. The request can be made online.

Absentee ballots may be obtained in person at the Columbia County Board of Elections through November 1.

Early voting will be available in two locations for nine days prior to Election Day:
Columbia County Office Building, 401 State Street, Hudson
Martin H. Glynn Municipal Center, 3211 Church Street, Valatie
Saturday, October 23: 9 AM-2 PM Sunday, October 24: 9 AM-2 PM
Monday, October 25: 12 PM-8 PM Tuesday, October 26: 9 AM-5 PM
Wednesday, October 27: 12 PM-8 PM
Thursday, October 28: 9 AM-5 PM
Friday, October 29: 9 AM-5 PM Saturday, October 30: 9 AM-2 PM
Sunday, October 31: 9 AM-2 PM
October Meeting Zoom Links

Topic: Hamlet Committee
Time: Sunday, October 10, 9:30 AM
Passcode: 844705
Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 893 5810 1360

Topic: Open Space Task Force
Time: Tuesday, October 19, 7 PM
Passcode: 892495
Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 897 6608 3357

Topic: Conservation Advisory Committee
Time: Thursday, October 28, 7 P
Passcode: 676837
Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 896 0194 5129
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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