Hillsdale OKs study of Stockport Creek watershed

HILLSDALE–The Town Board approved a resolution this week to allow the Hudson River Estuary Program, a project of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, to conduct a survey of the Stockport Creek Watershed. The proposed survey of the waterways in the western portion of the town would look for barriers on streams like under-sized or poorly installed culverts under public roads and encumbrances that block fish and salamanders’ habitat access.

Gretchen Stevens, secretary of the town Conservation Advisory Council, said at the April 12 Town Board meeting that the survey would make the town eligible for grants to undertake any necessary work.

She added that Ancram had approved a similar survey by Hudson River Estuary Program and recently received a $225,000 grant for corrective work.

Supervisor Peter Cipkowski said the survey would be “a positive for the town” providing it with valuable information.

Town Attorney Richard Alford advised that the survey could expose the town to liability because it would be “on notice” regarding culvert deficiencies.

Ms. Stevens said the DEC is conducting a survey of the Roe Jan Watershed, which is due to be completed by the end of the year.

Addressing other water resource issues, the board this week adopted resolutions approving the Aquifer Overlay District Map and reappointed the Conservation Advisory Council members.

Also at the April 12 meeting:

• Supervisor Cipkowski laid out a timeline for the sidewalks project, starting with the final design and bid documents going to the state Department of Transportation next week and ending with the first vendor being assigned June 1 based on competitive bids

• Mr. Cipkowski also announced a possible scheduling glitch in planned DOT culvert work that could impact traffic for the Falcon Ridge Music Festival over the Labor Day weekend. DEC limits access to the Roeliff Jansen Kill from June 15 to August 15, but would need earlier access in order to complete its work before the festival. The roadwork will reduce traffic on Route 22 to one lane and completely close it north of the Route 23 intersection

• May 7 is Clean Up Day. From 9 a.m. to noon Hillsdale residents can bring their bulk items to the town garage on Old Town Road for disposal. Household garbage, toxins, pesticides, paint cans, appliances that contain Freon, tires, televisions, and computer monitors are not accepted

• Memorial Day plans call for a rededication of the Civil War Monument, built in 1916, and the only Union memorial in Columbia County. The ceremony will precede the parade, which starts at 11 a.m. Participants will gather on Anthony Street. The ¾-mile parade routes runs on Route 23 east to Route 22 north, ending at the firehouse

• Summer youth program applications are currently available online. The town also seeks a youth counselor for the summer and the job application is available online too

• The town is upgrading its telephone system, which was deemed obsolete in 2010, and will also have new email addresses for town officers that will match its web address. The email addresses will start with the name of the town office followed by “@hillsdaleny.com” rather than “@fairpoint.net”

• The state is recommending that the Hillsdale Toll House be included on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. It is the only site in Columbia County to receive approval.

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