The goal of this newsletter is to share a bit of local news and shine a spotlight on the interesting things that are happening  in Hillsdale and nearby.

News from Town Hall 
Should Maple Street be One Way?

Supervisor Cipkowski and Councilman Steve Tiger met with New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) representatives in late July to discuss the intersection of State Route 22, State Route 23, and Maple Street. 

After assessing the site, the DOT recommended that the Town make Maple Street one way from the intersection to the Hamlet Park parking lot. They added that the entrance to the street from the intersection could be closed altogether or, if possible, reconfigured with a new entrance further down Route 22.
As a next step, the Town Board is consulting local stakeholders to determine the impact of making one of these changes. The  topic is on the  agenda  the upcoming Town Board meeting on September 10.
In the interim, the DOT plans on striping the intersection so motorists driving south on Route 22 have a better idea of which direction to travel.

Amended 284 Agreement 

The Town Board approved an amended 284 Agreement, which is an agreement that specifies how Town moneys are spent on highways. This was presented by the Highway Superintendent. The document is posted on the highway page and outlines improvements for Overlook Road/Syre Lane as well as Old Town Road.

Shredding Bins Return

The document shredding bins are available at Town Hall September 9 - 20 during  town clerk hours on Monday and Wednesday through Friday.
The Columbia County KISS Program is once again available to seniors in every town in Columbia County. The KISS Program, founded by Columbia County Clerk Holly Tanner, stands for Keeping the Identities of Seniors Safe. It was designed to protect the identities of our seniors while assisting them in the shredding of their sensitive materials.
Justin Weaver, Columbia County Clerk's Records Services Manager, is overseeing the program and can also be contacted with any questions at 518-822-0143.

Town Board Meeting September 10

Please note that Town Board meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month at Town Hall at 7 pm and are open to the public. Agendas are    available here, and please note that items are subject to change. Also, for the September 10 meeting, a budget workshop will be held at 6 pm.

Photo below:  A view of Hillsdale in 1865 and the view down Anthony Street. The Hillsdale House is in the lower left. Also note the long-gone Presbyterian Church (on the site of the current brick Masonic Temple), an old Pharmacy, and the original Masonic Temple. Note the clear-cut hills in the distance.

CAC on Stream Barriers
Hillsdale's culvert project presents an opportunity to highlight why seemingly small stream barriers can cause big consequences.
As previously reported here, four problematic culverts will eventually be repaired or replaced because their size or placement restricts water flow. In the event of torrential rainfall, culverts like these can't manage the floodwaters. The result can be washouts of roads and driveways. On a more daily basis, a culvert suspended above the stream bottom can prevent fish from being able to swim to food sources, breeding areas, and protective deep pools, all of which contribute to a decline in fish populations. Small dams constructed along streams create similar problems.
If you're lucky enough to have one of the hundreds of Hillsdale's small or large streams in your back yard, look to see if there are any obstacles preventing the natural flow of the water. Most times, it's an easily remedied problem.
The Hillsdale Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) has been working on Hillsdale's Natural Resource Inventory and it will be completed this fall. It will contain lots of information about local water systems, geology, and wildlife with descriptive companion maps.

Columbia-Greene Community College Ranks First
Columbia-Greene Community College (C-GCC), a campus of the State University of New York, has been named the best community college in New York State and one of the top 10 community colleges in the country.
Placing tenth out of 710 community colleges, C-GCC rose to the top spot in the state rankings in the areas of cost and financing, education outcomes, and career outcomes.
Data used to create this ranking were collected from the National Center for Education Statistics, Council for Community and Economic Research, and College Measures. Data was analyzed using 19 different metrics ranging from the cost of in-state tuition and fees to retention rates and overall return on investment.
The report also emphasized the overall affordability of a community college education. All colleges in the rankings are member institutions of the American Association of Community Colleges.

Photo:  James R. Campion, president of C-GCC from 2000 until recently, was honored at the Columbia County Board of Supervisors in August.
From the Historian's Blog: Hillsdale Goes to Work
From Hillsdale's earliest days, farming was a major occupation, although not an easy one to pursue. The rocky, thin soil and the hilly contours of the land made Hillsdale a less-than-perfect spot to grow crops. In fact, the steep population decline Hillsdale experienced in the latter years of the 19th century and early 20th century was in some part due to soil erosion. Heeding the words of Horace Greeley, young men and their families pulled up stakes and "went west" to the more fertile fields of Pennsylvania, Ohio and beyond. During that time, there were few newcomers moving in to stabilize the population. Hillsdale's population - which had been at an all-time high of 4,700 in 1800 - hit bottom in 1930, when the Federal census recorded only 968 residents.

Photo: The Hillsdale Train Station around 1900.

Oldtone Roots Music Festival Starts September 5
The Oldtone Roots Music Festival gets underway in North Hillsdale on September 5. It features artists who have one thing in common: an honest, authentic, and earthly tone to both their music and their performance style. The event has an intimate atmosphere where audience members can engage directly with the artists. Oldtone's motto is "participation is preservation", and participation is encouraged via workshops, jams, contests, and dances.
Oldtone Roots Music Festival

Roe Jan Ramble Set for September 21
The Roe Jan Ramble Bike Tour is returning for its seventh year on Saturday, September 21. This free event is sponsored by the towns of Hillsdale, Copake, and Ancram and takes riders through some of the most scenic roads in the three towns.
This year, there will be 6 different routes to choose from, from a family-friendly 10-mile route to a 62.5-mile route for more experienced cyclists. Riders can go at their own pace on well-marked quiet country roads and portions of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail. The rides begin and end in Copake Memorial Park.

To join the fun and for more details, visit this online link.

Habitat at Firehouse on September 28
Columbia County Habitat for Humanity will make an important presentation about their unique home-building strategy on Saturday, September 28 from 10:00 am to 11:30 am at the Hillsdale Firehouse.

The event is hosted by the Hillsdale Housing Committee.

Brenda Adams, Executive Director of Columbia County Habitat, and award-winning architect Dennis Wedlick, will discuss their strategies for bringing super-green, low-impact housing to historic villages and hamlets in Columbia County. In addition, they will discuss new opportunities for first-time homebuyers in Hillsdale and solutions for Hillsdale's pressing need for more homes for working families.
Brenda and Dennis have had great success in bringing homeowner opportunities to nearby communities, including Ancram, Copake and New Lebanon. Come to learn, enjoy refreshments, and talk to neighbors and town officials.

Photo: A rendering of a Habitat two-family home under construction in Ancramdale.

Senior Workshop at Firehouse on October 19
Save the date for the Senior Workshop on Saturday, October 19, from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm at the Hillsdale Firehouse.

Sponsored by the Hillsdale Safe at Home Committee, the workshop is perfectly timed to prepare Hillsdale seniors for the Medicare Annual Open Enrollment period. The Workshop will feature a presentation on Medicare by Kate West, an experienced case manager with the Columbia County Office for the Aging, and a talk and Q &A by Claire Parde, Executive Director of the Health Care Consortium on the topic of long-term care.

In addition, over 15 service providers will be positioned throughout the Firehouse to answer questions and provide written materials and contact information covering topics such as: home repairs, health care, Alzheimer services, real estate tax benefits for seniors, home health care services, heating assistance, no-cost phones for the hearing-impaired, home safety, and more.

Come to learn and meet other seniors and caregivers, while sharing snacks, a light lunch, and door prizes contributed by our generous Hillsdale business community.

Photo below: One of several small-group discussions at Town Hall during a special Safe at Home event last May.

Thanks for reading our newsletter.  If you want to promote your upcoming event on the Hillsdale calendar, share an old photo, or write an article or two, I'd love to hear from you!
Peter Cipkowski, Town Supervisor and Town Crier