News from Town Hall

This is an unsettling time for our country and our community. Columbia County now has 20 cases and that number is expected to increase.

It is important to remember that we need to be prepared, not scared. Let’s heed the advice of public health experts who agree that the most effective way to “flatten the curve,” or slow the spread of the virus, is to stay safe at home and exercise an abundance of caution.

Given that information is changing frequently, check for updates that impact our Town on

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or on my cell at 646-373-5002.

Peter Cipkowski
Hillsdale Town Supervisor

"We haven't reached anywhere near the peak of the COVID-19 cases we expect in the county,” said Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb on Tuesday.

The lack of testing kits is hamstringing public health officials and medical providers who rely on accurate information, Mabb also noted. “We do plan to be overwhelmed at some point,” Mabb added. “We don’t know how many are out there that may already have the disease. As you can see in New York City, the number of cases rise as more tests are given. When we do get more kits, it’s just going to get busier.”

Director of Emergency Management Director David Harrison, Jr., said that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requests had gone out from County emergency service providers, but that the agencies are not receiving their full requests.

Housing for quarantined individuals has been established, but County officials are seeking more locations, Mabb said. “Once the Department of Health quarantines someone, we are responsible for them.” In addition, large buildings that could serve as temporary hospitals for as many as 1,000 patients are being identified.

There are a lot of rumors out there,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell. “Much of it is not true. I recommend relying on the county Board of Health for the accurate, most up-to-date information.” Reliable sources of information locally, according to Murell, are the Columbia County website and the Facebook pages of the Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Health, and the Emergency Operations Center.

The telephone number for the county Emergency Operations Center is 518-828-1212. The EOC is open from 8 am to 4 pm daily.   
There's a safe new delivery service in town offering FREE delivery of groceries and supplies to seniors, immunocompromised, or otherwise at-risk community members during the COVID-19 outbreak. Doorstep Deliverers is delivering groceries to housebound neighbors and helps local businesses that do not have the capacity to offer free deliveries.

Volunteers from Doorstep Deliverers will pick up and deliver in Hillsdale, Copake, Egremont, Craryville, and Great Barrington from any local supermarket or store that offers pickup of orders paid for by phone. If you or someone you know can benefit from this service, visit their website or call 917-583-9612 .

Hillsdale’s Safe at Home Committee is helping to get the word out to the folks in our community who may not use email or the Internet – or may have simply missed the flyers that are posted around town because they’re staying home.

Please spread the word.
 For the safety of our Town employees due to the ongoing concerns regarding the COVID-19 virus, Hillsdale Town Hall and Town Garage are closed to the public. Town Hall staff members are continuing to work, so can you reach them by email, phone, or mail. Our Highway Department is working a regular schedule and taking precautions as advised by the State. We're all so grateful to Town employees for their dedication during this difficult time.

Some things to note:

  • Please consult the Town Directory if you need to reach the Town Clerk, Court Clerk, Assessor, Building Inspector, Highway Superintendent, Supervisor, or members of the Town Board. All telephone calls and emails will be returned promptly.
  • Please use the mail slot at the front door of Town Hall if you have anything to drop off.
  • The County Clerk has postponed the KISS (Shredding) program until further notice.
  • April's Zoning, Planning, and Town Board meetings may take place virtually. We are investigating having video calls that will allow members (and the public) to participate remotely.
  • Hillsdale Town Court is canceled on April 15.
  • Though the DMV in Hudson is closed for two weeks, they are still up and running. If you have a DMV-related issue, visit the Columbia County Clerk on Facebook for updates or, if you have a serious dilemma, contact the Columbia County Clerk, Holly Tanner, at 518-828-3339 or by email: [email protected]
Our friends at the Roe Jan Food Pantry have been exceptionally busy during this serious period of crisis. Open to all those who need food, our community is grateful for their dedication and service.

You can also support local restaurants that have been required to close during the pandemic. Several have been offering takeout options. Also, local grocery stores are open and are offering some order-in-advance options. As things are changing frequently, please c all to confirm hours, menus, and special services.

Explore the Resources on the Town website. Let me know if you have additions, updates, or corrections.
Fire Chief Fred Miller asked me to pass along this important message from our valued first responders:

"In light of the recent pandemic surrounding the Coronavirus, we have had to make a few adjustments ourselves. Our members have been instructed to ask a few clarifying questions upon arrival. They include:

  • Have you or anyone in your household traveled outside the country in the past two weeks?
  • Have you or anyone in your household recently traveled to and from NYC, Westchester and/or Rockland counties?
  • Does anyone have a fever 100.4 degrees or greater with cough and shortness of breath?
  • Is anyone currently under any sort of quarantine status?

These questions in no way change our commitment to protecting you but they will allow us to take the necessary safety precautions to ensure the well-being of our members.

We thank you for your understanding and support during this time.
We also want to give a huge shoutout to Olde York Farm for donating hand sanitizers and keeping our Volunteers safe."