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How’s the weather in the park? Find out soon


HILLSDALE–Following the Pledge of Allegiance at this week’s Town Board meeting, Town Supervisor Art Baer offered an expression of sympathy and solidarity with the citizens of Paris France, in light of recent terrorist attacks that killed more than 100 people there.

He also proposed that the flag in the town monument be lowered through to the end of November. This was approved by unanimous voice vote.

The regular business portion of the Tuesday, November 17 meeting included reports from Parks and Recreation Committee Chair Jill Sims-Elster regarding the proposed national weather station site, filtration system tests at Roe Jan and Hamlet parks, and holiday activities by the Business Alliance and the Tree Lighting event.

Ms. Sims-Elster reported that there is agreement for a national weather station site on one of three preferred sites at Roe Jan Park. Copake is one of 256 proposed national weather sites to measure seismic, cosmic and other environmental activities with the objective of providing more accurate and timely forecasts and unusual activity like earthquakes and tornadoes, according to Interim Town Clerk Bill Deema.

She said that Bash Bish State Park Manager Christopher Rickard plans to attend December’s town meeting to discuss and answer questions about the weather station. Ms. Sims-Elster encouraged interested parties to visit the website for more information prior to next month’s meeting.

She also reported that Roe Jan Park’s filtration system passed water tests conducted earlier this month and that upgrades to the filtration system at Hamlet Park can wait until the start of the youth program next summer.

The Town Board unanimously approved a request from the Business Alliance to put up a sign measuring at least 3’ x 4’, reading “Shop Hillsdale Shop Small” at the Monument, November 25-to-28, and on each following Saturday until Christmas as part of the national campaign to support small businesses.

Lastly, the tree lighting is scheduled for Saturday, December 5 starting at 4:30 p.m. at the town fire hall on Route 22, where celebrants gather and take a short hayride to the Triangle and watch Santa light up the tree at 5 p.m.

Also at the meeting Supervisor Baer reported that state Department of Transportation (DOT) officials have agreed to assume the costs for drain pipe repairs or replacement after visiting Hillsdale last week, and reviewing the 1.3-mile sidewalks project along Route 23. Mr. Baer said that DOT’s decision to take on the pipe costs will save the town considerable money, keeping the local share of those expenses at no more than $20,000.

He added that the curb boxes the town plans to install “look better” and can take on “a lot more water.” The supervisor expects the state to complete its review process in time for construction bids to be solicited in February with construction completed by the end of 2016.

There is one caveat. As Mr. Baer explained, historically Route 23 has been classified as a turnpike and as such the state has greater right of way access than the town requires, which may result in the signs of some businesses encroaching on state property.

The sidewalks project is funded by federal and state grants of $800,000 and Hillsdale will contribute $130,000 to it.

Mr. Baer also reported the preliminary county budget scheduled to go before the Board of Supervisors this week does not include any tax increase for 2016.

In other business this week:

  • Supervisor Baer announced that the town’s annual insurance premium for retirees with Blue Cross Blue Shield has been reduced by more than 50%
  • The board approved by unanimous voice vote the appointments of Bart Ziegler to chair the Hamlet Committee and Bob Kessler as a member of the Green Solution Committee. There may be an opening on the Board of Assessment Review (BAR) depending on whether Mary Anne Foote seeks reappointment
  • An expenditure of $400 in registration was approved for town Supervisor-elect Peter Cipkowski and Councilperson Robina Ward to attend training sessions in Albany, January 13 -15, 2016.



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