Esslie-Frenia Law June 2023 Leaderboard

Hillsdale board sets fee for use of park

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HILLSDALE–The Town Board has voted unanimously to require a $100 processing fee from applicants seeking to stage free events in Roe Jan Park.

The processing fee and amount reportedly were suggested by the park’s event coordinator, who was not at the board’s regular monthly meeting, Tuesday, May 14. An audience member objected to the fee saying that facilitating and coordinating the necessary paperwork should be “part of the job,” and predicted that the fee would result in “fewer events.”

The town board also heard from Hillsdale businessman Steve Bluestone regarding efforts to use solar energy at his soon-to-open brewery/restaurant at 32 Anthony Street. Mr. Bluestone described the problem as an “historic building on a postage stamp lot,” adding that solar panels on roofs “are not historic.”

Mr. Bluestone gave board members a three-page chart of town parcels that could possibly accommodate solar panels. His design calls for “smart panels” that pivot and 14 poles with a maximum height of 20 feet. He said that he would lease the parcel from the town for the life of the panels, which generally is 30 years.

Several issues were raised by the request. The most desirable parcel is located where the town plans to expand the sewer district. “Would construction trucks be able to maneuver around the poles?”, asked Tom Carty.

“What if the town wanted to own its own solar system?” asked Supervisor Peter Cipkowski, who also asked about the site’s neighbors’ reactions.

In addition, Hillsdale zoning laws restrict maximum pole height to 15 feet. Mr. Bluestone admitted his request is “a long shot.”

In other business at the meeting:

• The board approved payments of $3,224 to repair damaged water lines at the Sheriff’s Office substation and $7,995 to replace and reinstall the damaged street lamppost at the intersection of Routes 23 and 22. The suggestion to move the lamppost, which was destroyed in a second traffic accident, to Cullen Park may be reconsidered due to low-hanging power lines there. If the new lamppost stays at its current location some sort of steel barrier may encase it, Supervisor Cipkowski suggested

• Parks committee chair Jill Sims-Elster reported that 50 youth are enrolled in the town’s summer program and that there is room for 10 more youth. Mr. Cipkowski said there is a $200 park fund available to help low-income children participate in the program’s field trips.

The next board meeting is Tuesday, June 11 at 7 p.m.

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