New Hillsdale concert plan fizzles, sidewalk plan advances

HILLSDALE–Organizers of the Oldtone Festival have withdrawn their application for a permit to stage a post-Labor Day, 4-day music event in the town. When organizers met with members of the Zoning Board of Appeals and the public on April 19, several residents raised concerns regarding traffic and health safety.

Festival planners identified Bridlewood, located at 35 Sir William Farm Road off Whippoorwill, as the festival site and anticipated a maximum of 1,100 participants, including up to 800 campers. Because of the size of the festival, organizers also, would have had to make a presentation before the Planning Board.

At the Town Board meeting last week town Supervisor Peter Cipkowski and Town Councilmember Steve Tiger both expressed “disappointment” that Hillsdale would not be hosting the festival. Mr. Cipkowski said that local businesses could have benefited from the opportunities the festival would have presented.

In addition to noting the withdrawal of the concert plan, the Town Board voted at the May 10 meeting to approve a bond anticipation note resolution from the National Union Bank of Kinderhook to finance the sidewalks project.

The borrowing was needed because the sidewalks project, which will cost nearly $944,000, must be fully funded before work commences. Hillsdale’s actual share of the total cost is $188,734, with state and federal funds covering the remainder.

Supervisor Cipkowski said that the state Dormitory Authority has approved a $50,000 grant that will help pay Hillsdale’s share of the project.

Mr. Cipkowski also announced a schedule of events to precede the Memorial Day parade May 30 at the Civil War monument in the hamlet, including remarks by Reverend Mary Langley of Hillsdale United Methodist Church, selections by the Taconic Hills School band, the singing of the national anthem by Broadway’s “Book of Mormon” star, Lewis Cleale, and public recitations of the Gettysburg Address and the T.B. Evans’ poem, Columbia’s Brave Volunteers. A town photograph will be taken during the ceremony. The parade is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.

In other town business:

• Highway Superintendent Richard Briggs asked that the board consider limiting Clean-Up Day to residential participants and not allow commercial entities to drop off items for disposal

• Tax Grievance Day for property owners is set for May 26, 4-8 p.m., at Town Hall

• The town office telephone system upgrades will be installed and operational on June 8

• KISS, a document shredding program for seniors, starts up again June 6-17. Two recycling bins will be located at Town Hall

• At a special meeting on April 16 the board accepted a bid of $7,468 from Brothers Landscaping to maintain the town’s parks

• Hillsdale is one of seven Columbia County communities participating in the state’s Climate Smart Communities program. Supervisor Cipkowski described it as a “blueprint on how towns can reduce their carbon footprint.” Participants are eligible to apply to a pool of $2 million dollars in grants to implement initiatives that reduce reliance on fossil fuels

• The 3rd annual Roe Jan Ramble is set for September 24. Bicyclists seek sponsors and sign up to pedal for distances up to 25 miles in 5-mile increments. The board passed a resolution to cover participating cyclists under the town’s liability insurance while they are riding in Hillsdale. Money raised is for the Harlem Valley Rail Trail. Last year’s Ramble raised $15,000.

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