State won’t aid Hillsdale intersection upgrade

HILLSDALE–At the Town Board meeting this week Hillsdale Supervisor Peter Cipkowski announced that the state Department of Transportation “is not interested” in modifying the intersection of Route 22 and Whippoorwill Road. If the town wants to bear the cost of the work, it would need to provide an engineer study to DOT and seek the necessary permits, according to Mr. Cipkowski.

The town submitted a petition in June with 75 signatures from residents of Whippoorwill, Wolf Hill, Pumpkin Hill and Sir William roads requesting access modification for safety reasons. A house located at the intersection of the highway and Whippoorwill obstructs visibility for traffic turning onto Route 22.

A search of the town’s archives turned up a plan to modify the intersection by relocating a 300-foot north-south section of Whippoorwill, 25 feet south of its current location. The plan was submitted to the Columbia County Clerk’s Office in April 1988. At that time the town also secured an Offer of Cession, which is “irrevocable” from the property owners, according to Mr. Cipkowski.

During the public comments, Jeff Paige mentioned that the property owners “looked into moving the house a few years ago.”

Board member Carmen Barbato responded, “If the house is cheaper [to move] than the road costs, I’d go with the house.”

Supervisor Cipkowski questioned. “Can we afford this?”

No decision was made.

In other business at the August 8 monthly meeting:

• The board heard that work on the sidewalks project work is expected to be completed by the end of this week

• Three new “Welcome to Hillsdale” signs are ready for installation to replace existing signs

• Town Hall will get a new sign

• A charging station for electric cars will be added to the Town Hall parking lot on the west side

• Three bike racks will be installed–at Town Hall, Hamlet Park and the Rail Trail

• Board member Jill Sims-Elster reported that this year’s summer program had the “largest group ever” with 70 participants despite not having a swimming component due to repairs being made at the Taconic Hills School District.

The next board meeting is Tuesday, September 12 @ 7 p.m.

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