Aquifer map outlines Hillsdale water sources

HILLSDALE–An Aquifer Overlay District Map, a litter law, expanding broadband services and providing document shredding services for seniors among many items on the agenda of the Town Board this week.

The Aquifer Overlay District Map has been completed and copies of it were distributed to council members at the February 9 meeting. The map will be available on the town’s website.

The town must reconcile language in the Aquifer Overlay Law with existing language regarding zoning regulations. The purpose of the law is to protect and maintain the quality of groundwater in the district, which is the source of Hillsdale’s water supply. Discussion focused on ensuring that the law’s language did not impose unreasonable restrictions on future construction of single-family homes or agricultural structures and normal farming practices.

On the advice of Town Attorney Nelson Alford the board postponed any action on a litter law aimed at eliminating newsletters and flyers distributed by Columbia Green Media to Hillsdale residences. Copake recently adopted such a law.

Many residents in both communities have complained about the unsolicited weekly deliveries. After reviewing the Copake law, Attorney Alford said that it is “fraught with constitutional implications” regarding “freedom of speech and the press.” Mr. Alford suggested that the town first send a letter of concern to the company.

Councilman Steve Tiger also suggested that people voice their objections to business owners advertising in the company.

On another communication matter, Town Supervisor Peter Cipkowski wants Hillsdale to be “cool and connected,” with a pilot program to expand broadband services for economic development in rural communities sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Letters of interest to participate in the project are due by February 24.

In other business this week:

•Beginning in March Hillsdale will participate in the Keeping Identity of Seniors Safe (KISS) program, which provides document shredding services to eligible seniors

•The Oldtone Music Festival is looking for a new home and Supervisor Cipkowski hopes Hillsdale can be the host. The festival, which features traditional mountain fiddling, Bluegrass, ’20s/’30s swing, classic country, brass, and Cajun music, requires 5 – 20 acres and provides overnight camping. The festival, held in Dutchess County last year, is scheduled for September 8 – 11. Mr. Cipkowski asks that anyone with suitable space and willing to be the music festival’s site contact him

•Supervisor Cipkowski also touted Grillsdale, described by its planners as a “farm-to-table culinary extravaganza” at Roe Jan Park, featuring local chefs and food providers within 25 miles of Hillsdale on August 27 from 6 – 11 p.m. Proposed activities include a chefs “grill-off” serving up small plates to the public. Plans also call for locally produced beer, cider and desserts with local bands providing entertainment.

Cipkowski said that Grillsdale would stimulate local tourism and economic development. Planners project attendance at 500 – 600. He also noted that a percentage of net profits would be donated to a local non-profit.

Councilman Tiger objected to the ticket price of $50 – $75, saying that it effectively excluded local residents and cautioned that Hillsdale was getting a reputation as “for moneyed people.” The consensus among the board was that the organizers should rent Roe Jan Park and not be given free access

•The board voted unanimously for a landscape maintenance agreement with the state Department of Transportation, a requirement of the sidewalk project. The town assumes the costs of caring for the shrubs and trees as well as maintenance, including snow removal, associated with the brickwork

•Councilmember Jill Sims-Elster reported that the National Weather Service will not be locating a proposed weather station in Roe Jan Park, where three sites had been under consideration

•The Hillsdale Volunteer Fire Company has six new members and Fire District Commission Chairman Bud Atwood added that there are three new applicants for the 26-week training program.

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