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News from Town Hall

Dear Hillsdale,

Happy September!

With the arrival of fall this month, the Town Board will be considering a number of major issues, including a better understanding of the Sewer District debt when the audit is completed in a few weeks; engaging in the budget process for 2023; submission of a BridgeNY grant for the failing West End Road bridge; and beginning to take a look at updating our Comprehensive Plan based on current and future needs and aspirations. All of these initiatives will require our best thinking, public input and cooperative effort.

I believe that we are making real progress with affordable/workforce housing. Following the March 30 County Housing Forum, several recommendations are now moving ahead toward a vote by the Board of Supervisors this month, including the formation of a County Affordable Housing Task Force and a professional staff to move initiatives forward. Also, the Roe Jan Housing Task Force (Hillsdale, Copake and Ancram) continues its efforts. At the August 16 meeting, we heard from Mike Tucker, President and CEO of the Columbia Economic Development Corporation, under whose aegis the County’s affordable/workforce housing efforts are taking place; Mike Borges, Executive Director of the Rural Housing Coalition of New York; and Assemblywoman Didi Barrett, who enriched our discussions.

At the August Town Board meeting, I briefed the board on the recommendations developed by the traffic engineering firm Creighton Manning that were sent to the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding the dangerous intersection of Whippoorwill Road and NYS Route 22, as well as DOT's response dated August 3, 2022. While the DOT replaced the north and southbound 4-Way intersection sign on Route 22 with larger 36 x 36 signs, they did not support the placement of extra pavement at the southwest corner of the intersection, and they will not install a flashing beacon. They would support improvements if the Town were to gain access on either side of Whippoorwill but that is unlikely at this time. One of the town digital speed signs has been placed on Whippoorwill Road, along with several other signs with reflection strips that are helping to warn drivers of the approaching intersection. We have tried very hard to achieve a more permanent solution, but this is where we are.

I’m looking forward to our work ahead and hope you will join me in these efforts, guided by Albert Einstein’s words of wisdom: “Learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope for tomorrow.”

Chris Kersten

Town Supervisor


September Town Board Meeting

The September Town Board meeting will be held in person at Town Hall on Tuesday, September 13 at 7 PM.

Two public hearings will be held before the meeting:

At 6:40 PM, re a new law on the use of the Natural Resources Inventory.

At 6:50 PM, re a new law allowing videoconferencing for town meetings.

Link below to read the laws.

Documents that will be referred to at the 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
Local Laws #2 & #3

COVID Update

As of August 30 there were 34 active cases and 19 hospitalized county residents, none of them in the ICU. To date there have been 13,899 cases and 154 deaths.

According to the CDC COVID-19 Community Level tool, Columbia County's level is "low". Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area.

CDC COVID-19 Community Levels
County Vaccine Clinics
Columbia County Dept. of Health

Pumpkin Festival Returns!

Hillsdale’s Pumpkin Festival returns this fall on Saturday, October 8 from 11 AM to 3 PM. Sponsored by the Hamlet Committee, the event this year will include the well-regarded Ghent Band, folk rock sisters Lisa and Lori Brigantino from Brooklyn, and other live musical performers in the Hamlet Park. There also will be the annual “Gathering of Scarecrows” competition, in which residents and businesses devise creative scarecrows that will be on display. The theme for this year’s scarecrow competition is “Rockstars and Sports Legends.” The festival also will include a scavenger hunt for youngsters, a bake sale, and exhibits, including a drone, by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and New York State Police. Meantime, at the Roe Jan Community Library there will be pumpkin painting for kids from 1 to 2 PM--register by email at youth@roejanlibrary.org. Businesses throughout the town are expected to join in the festivities and the Hillsdale Fire Department will offer a chicken barbecue dinner.

Hillsdale's Own Baseball Star:

Lillian "Pete" Campbell

One thing always leads to another. A reader of the Hillsdale Historians' blog about Title IX told them to check out Hillsdalian Lillian "Pete" Campell. They did and this month's blog is all about Pete, who played baseball on the boy's team at Roe Jan Central School in the 40's and then joined the All American Girl's Professional Baseball League as a member of the Springfield Sallies. Pete was an enthusiastic and talented player, hitting two homers in one game and traveling to 26 states with the Sallies. She returned to Hillsdale, married, dairy farmed and had children but baseball was always part of her life. She played until she was 75! Read more, including how she was honored by the Mets and the National Baseball Hall of Fame, in the blog. 

Hillsdale Historians

Safe at Home Plans Senior Chore Services Day and Aging in Place Workshop

Hillsdale’s Safe at Home is once again organizing a Senior Chore Services Day. On Saturday, October 22 from 10 AM to 1 PM volunteers will help Hillsdale seniors get ready for winter by completing important fall chores. This project is funded by the Bank of Greene County Charitable Foundation.

Any Hillsdale senior who needs help with outside projects such as cleaning their yard, moving lawn furniture, raking leaves, or cleaning the outside of ground level windows can ask for help with such chores. The Safe at Home Committee is seeking volunteers to help with this project by spending a couple of hours of their time helping neighbors

Call Natalie at 518 265-2113 if you or a neighbor you know needs help with chores or if you want to volunteer to do chores on Senior Chore Services Day.

“Adapting Homes As We Age In Place”, a workshop hosted by Safe at Home, will be held at the Hillsdale Firehouse on Saturday November 12 from 10 AM to 12:30 PM.

“Most seniors want to remain in their own homes. Hillsdale’s seniors are no exception,” reports committee chair Joyce Lapenn. “This means making sure homes are safe and comfortable, and fit one's needs.” This project is made possible through funding by Fund for Columbia County, Berkshire Taconic Foundation and Copake Lake Realty.

The workshop will provide information from experts about home improvements that enhance seniors’ physical safety and comfort, and home improvements and services that help can reduce injuries, maintain physical independence, and reduce the need for home assistance. 

Exhibitors will include Columbia County Office for the Aging, Columbia County Department of Health, Hillsdale Tax Assessor, Smart Home Devices and others. A certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) will talk about the needs of the aging population, common remodeling projects and expenditures, product ideas and resources. There will also be presentations by Habitat for Humanity on its Helping Hands program which provides financial assistance and a representative from AARP who will talk about making a home “aging-friendly.”

Pre-1990 Car Show Returns to Hamlet Park

The Annual Hillsdale Car Show will return to the Hamlet Park on Sunday, September 18 from 9 AM - 3 PM (rain date September 25). A wide variety of classic and vintage vehicles (and their owners) will vie for trophies in twenty categories including Best in Show, People’s Choice, Best Import, Best Restoration Work-in-Progress, Best Motorcycle, Best Engine, Best Paint, and Best Truck.

Pre-1990 cars, trucks and motorcycles will fill the park along with the sounds of the popular local band, Lucky Bucket. A fee of $10 per vehicle is charged for participants. Spectators are welcome free of charge.

Participants will be eligible for door prizes and there will be raffles for all, including the ever-popular 50/50.

For more information, contact Gaye Hoffman 518 938-1404 or hoffman.gaye8@gmail.com.

Of Note.....

At the August Town Board meeting Supervisor Kersten reported that the town had recently received some major checks and the town continues to be in a good financial position. 

  • $42,113.76 in mortgage tax receipts (for Oct. '21 – March)
  • $130,118.72 in sales tax receipts (April - June)
  •  $92,409.97 – the second and final installment of ARPA funds (American Rescue Plan Act)
  • $16,494.11 in tobacco settlement funds


The 2023 budget planning process has begun with instructions sent to department and program heads who are to submit their budget requests via an Excel spreadsheet by September 1.

The board will be discussing how to use the ARPA funds. Among the allowed uses are COVID-related expenses and investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.


Highway Superintendent Richard Briggs reported at the August Town Board meeting that a new mower with a boom has been purchased, allowing the department to mow behind guard rails. Briggs requested that residents who see trees down on a road or caught in other trees call the Highway Department at 518 325-4744. The Department will be working on White Hill Lane by Herringtons. The work is planned so that the road will not have to be closed.


Town Hall still has KN95 masks and COVID test kits available for free.


As one step in the project to convert all street lights in the Hillsdale Lighting District to LED lights, the town has purchased all the existing lights from NYSEG. Therefore the procedure for reporting street light problems has changed. Residents of the lighting district who have problems with their nearby streetlight should email the Town Clerk at townclerkhdale@fairpoint.net or call the clerk at the Town Hall during business hours at 518 325-5073 ext 5. The clerk will forward your concern to the repair service.


Shredding bins are available in Town Hall now through Friday, September 9 during the hours Town Hall is open, 10:30 AM – 1 PM, or by appointment. To make an appointment call the Town Clerk at 518 325-5073 ext. 5.

Farmers Market Open Into November

Because September and October are prolific harvest times despite the cooling weather, the Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market will be open open until the weekend before Thanksgiving. The last market is Saturday, November 19. The market is open from 9 AM to 1 PM.

Most of the abundant list of produce and grocery items available at the market are eligible for SNAP (food stamps). SNAP users are encouraged to take advantage of the market's matching program -- the market doubles users SNAP dollars. 

Available at the CHFM

Programs for Seniors in Columbia County

The Columbia County Office for the Aging is hosting a Senior Day at Stuyvesant Falls VFW, 845 County Route 25, Stuyvesant Falls, on Thursday, September 8 from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM. This is OFA’s third annual Senior Day. Festivities will include a picnic style lunch under a pavilion and music by DJ Jack Bogarski. Flu shots and COVID vaccinations will be available. A secured box to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or expired will be available thanks to the Columbia County Sheriff. Reservations are required and seating is limited. Call 518 828-4258 to reserve your seat.

The Alzheimer's Association is starting a new support group for caregivers of those living with Alzheimer's disease or other dementia on Wednesday, September 14. The group will meet the second Wednesday of each month from 5:30 to 6:30 PM in the Multipurpose Building at the FASNY Firemen's Home, 125 Harry Howard Avenue in Hudson. Rachel Dolan, LSMW, will be the facilitator. To register or for more information contact Tony at 518 867-4999 ext. 1691 or tarivera@alz.org

Looking for a Way to Help Hillsdale?

There are many ways for residents to get involved in town initiatives, such as attending meetings, or volunteering to serve on a town committee. Another is to make a tax-deductible donation to fund one of the many projects designed to enhance the quality of life in our community. Current funding opportunities include:

  • Plaques for Historic District Buildings
  • Town Hall Flagpole
  • Winter Lamppost Banners
  • Hamlet Map Mural Projects
  • Roeliff Jansen Park

For more information and to help fund any or all of these projects, click on the link below. You can also access the donation page from the home screen of the town website. Once there, simply scroll all the way to the right and click on “Support Our Projects”. You may use a credit card or, if you prefer to contribute by check, please make it payable to HECDC and send it to Hillsdale Economic and Community Development Corp., PO Box 305, Hillsdale, NY 12529

Hillsdale Civic Pride Fundraising


Roe Jan Historical Society WWII Exhibit

Open Through September

From the Home Front to the Front Lines, the summer exhibit at the Roeliff Jansen Historical Society Museum, is open every Saturday and Sunday through September from 2 to 4 PM, as well as on Labor Day. The exhibit is the story of the war as told through personal correspondence, photographs, G.I. standard issue equipment, commendations, medals, official documents, photographs and mementos of family members who served, most of it donated or loaned by residents of the Roe Jan area. It includes stories and memories that have been handed down through the generations.

The Millerton News says "The exhibit is an impressive compilation...an opportunity to look at the second World War from a local standpoint".

The museum is at 8 Miles Road in Copake Falls.

Roeliff Jansen Historical Society

Roe Jan Ramble Route Details To Be Announced

Maps for the six routes for cycling in the Saturday, September 17 Roe Jan Ramble will be available through the Ramble website in early September. The six routes are all on paved, lightly traveled public roads or portions of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail in Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale, the three towns sponsoring the ride. The event is free but riders are encouraged to donate to the Rail Trail. Registration is now open. Click below to sign up and donate, and to learn about the routes.

Roe Jan Ramble

Adult programs at the Roe Jan Community Library in September include

  • Hot Topics in Healthy Aging – Clearing Up Common Questions: How Do We Assess Risks to Our Health?
  • History Webinar: The Life and Times of President Martin Van Buren
  • Local author Joe Gosler on his recent memoir, Searching for Home: The Impact of WWII on a Hidden Child, about his experiences as an infant placed in hiding during WWII in the Netherlands.
  • Local Invasive Species and How to Deal with Them
  • All About Birds: Fun Facts
  • Divest-Invest Virtual Workshop

 For kids there will be a last Farm Market Kids on September 3, Lego Thursdays, Home School Wednesdays starting September 7, and Storytime with Tia starting September 10. The library is located at 9091 Rt. 22.

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

The Roe Jan Library Friends Bookshop will be open every Saturday through October 8 from 10 AM to 2 PM. Thousands of gently used books, CD’s and DVD’s will be for sale. Masks are required. To donate books, email Celia Kahn at caskahn@gmail.com. The bookshop is located on the lower level of the library at 9091 Rt. 22.

Upcoming Town Meetings

The Zoning Board will not meet in September.

The Planning Board will meet on Monday, September 12, at 7 PM. The Board will be considering an application by Daniel Levy of Bellwether and Route 23, filed for the purpose of creating a subdivision.

Open Space Committee

Time: Thursday, September 8, 7 PM


Passcode: 136308

Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID:  879 7611 1742

Hamlet Committee

Time: Monday, September 12, 6 PM


Passcode: 524104

Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 859 3909 0649

Safe at Home Committee

Time: Wednesday, September 21, 11 AM

Home of Lynda Brenner, 92 Rockledge Road 

Conservation Advisory Council

Time: Thursday, September 22, 7 PM


Passcode: 469225

Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 897 1330 5575

Economic Development Committee

Time: Wednesday, September 28, 11 AM


Passcode: 596336

Dial in: 646 558-8656 Meeting ID: 840 8804 7120

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Newsletter Editor: Meg Wormley


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