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

Though this handsome gentleman is unidentified in a photo that came to our attention, we were told that he is leaning on a printing press in Hillsdale, New York.  Could it be the Hillsdale Harbinger?

The Harbinger was the primary paper for miles around in the late 1800s and even into the 1930s. The paper was produced on Anthony (then Railroad) Street facing Cullin Park. 

Read the digital files of the Harbinger.

2019 Budget

The Town Board adopted the 2019 town budget with minor changes from the proposed budget. The 2019 tax levy of $967,200 is flat to years 2017 and 2018.
Total budgeted 2019 revenues and spending of about $1,709,871 are about the same as the last two years.
2019 budgeted revenue increases are based on 2018 actual results and include budgeted increases in NYS highway aid, sales and mortgage taxes, and various town fees.

2019 highway spending totals 1,150,237.20 about 68% of the total town budget. Highway spending is also flat to last year and includes road repairs, upgrades, snow removal, tree trimming and removal, salary and benefits. 

The Roe Jan Library is budgeted at $42,500.

Shredding Program

Sponsored by the Columbia County Clerk's Office, the popular K.I.S.S. (Keeping Identities of Seniors Safe) shredding program has returned to Town Hall through December 13. Deposit documents into a secure container in Town Hall, to be destroyed by Certified Document Security LLC in North Chatham. This service is available during Town Clerk and Deputy Clerk  hours at Town Hall.

Public Notice

The Hillsdale Town Board is seeking applicants for one open position on Hillsdale's five member Board of Assessment Review (BAR).    Applications or expressions of interest should be submitted to the Hillsdale Town Clerk at before December 20, 2018. More about the Board of Assessment Review.

Town Hall Winter Hours

Now that winter is here and weather is less predictable, Town Hall will follow the snow day schedule as announced by Taconic Hills Central School. To be on the safe side, please call to check or make an appointment.

Christmas Friends Needs Shoppers
Each year, a group of folks ensure that needy local children have something special under their Christmas tree. This year, more than 200 children need our support.

Christmas Friends is looking for volunteer shoppers, gift-wrappers, and financial donations. Please contact Charlotte Shutts at 325-3637 to offer your support.  

Christmas Dinner Boxes
The Roe Jan Food Pantry is at it again. After furnishing Thanksgiving dinner for so many, they are picking up the reigns from Our Lady of Hope and doing the same for Christmas.
Here's how you can help:
Financial contributions are gratefully accepted. All checks should be made out to the Roe Jan Food Pantry and sent to:

Community Christmas Boxes
P.O. Box 364
Hillsdale NY, 12529
Donations of food are also helpful. Please contact Elwin Moore at 518-965-6931 to find out what is needed.
Community Christmas Boxes preparation will be held on December 13-15 at the Hillsdale Firehouse, 9387 County Rte. 22 in Hillsdale. Join anytime listed:
  • December 13 at 9 am- Join us in preparing the boxes!
  • December 14 at 9 am- Help us receive and set up the food!
  • December 14 at 5 pm - Join the Boy's and Girl's Scouts, the 4H and the Honor Society of Taconic Hills as they decorate the boxes with Festive Christmas spirit!
  • December 15 at 8:30 am-11 am - Come fill the boxes with food. It's FUN!
  • December 15th from 11 am -1 pm - Come and help distribute the food boxes to the families!
NOTE: Christmas Friends (see section above) will be distributing gifts to the children of Christmas Box Families on December 15 between 11 am and 1 pm as well. Join that effort too!

Library Seeks Volunteers
Want to get involved in your community, meet new people, and make new friends? Become a volunteer with the Roe Jan Community Library. Work at the front desk, help with events such as the annual "Party in the Park" or the annual FREE picnic.  You can also join a committee, such as music, art, communications, and gardening. There are many ways in which your talents and energy can be utilized! And it's FUN!

A Magnolia for Jan Keefner

The dedication of Jan Keefner's tree at Town Hall attracted many of her admirers on a rainy day last month.  Jan was Hillsdale's Court Clerk and served the Hillsdale community for 30 years.  She died in December 2018. 
What's in a Name?
Did royalists hide out on Tory Hill during the Revolutionary War?  Is the whippoorwill (below) particularly common on Whippoorwill Road? 

The Hillsdale historians explore the stories behind some of the names.

Hunting Season
The rifle season for deer started on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. If you are not hunting, it's probably a good idea to stay out of  the woods until deer hunting is over.  The rifle season ends on December 9, and the muzzle loader season is over on December 18.  Even if you are just out for a walk with your dogs on the road, wear bright orange, and do not go out before it gets light in the morning or when it starts to get dark late in the afternoon.
While statistics show that hunting in New York State is safer than ever, hunters make mistakes every year. DEC's Hunting Safety Rules:
  • Assume every gun is loaded.
  • Control the muzzle. Point your gun in a safe direction.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  • Be sure of your target and beyond.
  • DEC encourages hunters to wear blaze orange or pink. Wearing orange or pink prevents other hunters from mistaking a person for an animal, or shooting in your direction. Hunters who wear hunter orange are seven times less likely to be shot.
  • When hunting in tree stands use a safety harness and a climbing belt, as most tree stand accidents occur when hunters are climbing in and out of the stand. Also, never climb in or out of a tree stand with a loaded rifle. See our new Tree Stand Safety Video for more tips on avoiding accidents.
  • Always be prepared for winter conditions when venturing in the woods, inform a friend or relative of your whereabouts, and pack emergency supplies.

The new Overmountain Public Conservation Area opened to the public last month and, wow, is it beautiful. Covering 1,700 acres in southeastern Ancram, it is the largest conservation area in Columbia County and includes miles of trails, stunning views, and hundreds of acres of grassy fields-habitat for grassland birds.
Thanks for reading this 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