Esslie-Frenia Law June 2023 Leaderboard

Hillsdale can’t find a place in the sun

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(This is an edited summary from Town Supervisor Peter Cipkowski of business at the regular August meeting of the Hillsdale Town Board.)

HILLSDALE—Highway Department issues dominated the August 13 meeting. Supervisor Peter Cipkowski suggested that a committee, consisting of Highway Superintendent Richard Briggs and Climate Smart Committee Chair and Councilmember Tom Carty, review a request from Hillsdale businessman Steve Bluestein to lease town garage property for installation of solar panels on a 17.5-acre parcel on Old Town Road. The panels would support Mr. Bluestein’s Roe Jan Brewery, scheduled to open later this year.

At a previous town meeting, Mr. Bluestein asked about the feasibility of using extra land at the town’s wastewater treatment plant for the solar panels. But that was denied due to town plans to expand the wastewater treatment plant in the near future. Mr. Bluestein’s effort to run his business on solar energy is hampered by the building’s designation as an historical edifice, which makes solar panels incongruous.

Also, the building is located on a “postage stamp size” lot and cannot accommodate the panels.

The Town Board approved the Amended 284 Agreement drafted by Superintendent Briggs. The agreement, posted on the town’s website, calls for $170,000 to be set aside for primary work and general repairs and $251,240 on permanent improvements, which would include Overlook Road/Syre Lane and Old Town Road. Hillsdale has 76.6 miles of highway and roads.

Supervisor Cipkowski and Councilmember Steve Tiger reported on a meeting with the state Department of Transportation (DOT) Region 8 representatives to discuss making Maple Street one-way. Mr. Cipkowski reported that DOT was receptive to the possibility of making Maple Street one way from the intersection of Routes 22 and 23 to the Hamlet Park parking lot. Another possibility discussed would be either to close Maple Street permanently, or to reconfigure it to exit further down Route 22.

The board agreed that Mr. Cipkowski and Mr. Tiger should consult with various stake-holders (residents, Fire Department, sheriff, school district, rescue squad) to determine the impact of making Maple Street one way and thereby prohibiting drivers from entering the intersection.

The board also announced that one of the two town apartments in the old farmhouse at Roe Jan Park is being vacated September 15 and the town will be seeking new tenants later this year.

The next board meeting is Tuesday, September 10 at 7 p.m.

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