Hillsdale Receives TEP Grant

HILLSDALE RECEIVES $754,975 GRANT FROM NYS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Designed to Advance Hillsdale’s Comprehensive Plan

HILLSDALE, NY (January 16, 2014) – The Town of Hillsdale has announced that the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has awarded a $754,975 grant to renovate and create a system of sidewalks in the hamlet. Town Supervisor Art Baer was notified by Kenneth J. Flood, Commissioner, Columbia County Planning and Economic Development that Hillsdale had been selected by state officials.

“Hillsdale’s project goes to the heart of an ideal economic development strategy that combines recreation with hamlet improvement,” said Kenneth J. Flood, Commissioner, Columbia County Planning and Economic Development. “The new sidewalks will provide safe and easy access for pedestrians and create new opportunities for business and recreation.”

Hillsdale’s award is one piece of approximately $67 million in funding distributed by the State for 63 bicycle, pedestrian and multi-use path transportation enhancement projects across the State. The projects include the addition of accessible sidewalks, improved pedestrian access to public transportation services, construction of new bicycle and pedestrian facilities and the preservation and conversion of abandoned railroad corridors for trail use.

Hillsdale’s grant request, “Hamlet of Hillsdale Pedestrian Streetscape Enhancements,” was selected through a competitive solicitation process and rated on established criteria that included environmental enhancement to and for the transportation system; connectivity to an existing transportation system; encouragement of smart growth; impact on local or regional economies; availability of matching funds; and level of community support.

In 2010, the Town’s Hamlet Committee envisioned a Hamlet Design and Development Plan that was completed by the firm Project for Public Spaces (PPS) and was adopted into Hillsdale’s Comprehensive Plan by the Town Board in early 2011.

Hillsdale has seen an upsurge in businesses and pedestrian traffic and the TEP funds will be used to replace the sidewalks and crosswalks along our main street, Route 23, which will increase public safety and enhance the historical nature of the hamlet.”

The funds are made available to the State through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and are administered by NYSDOT. The funds cover 80 percent of the cost of each project, with the remaining 20 percent coming from the project sponsor. It is anticipated that Hillsdale’s 20% match will be provided by a long-term bond.

“We are very grateful to the Federal Highway Administration and NY State Department of Transportation for this grant,” said Art Baer, Hillsdale Town Supervisor. “The construction of sidewalks will cap a 10-year revitalization effort for our Hamlet, which began with the construction of a sewer system in 2004, the opening of several new retail stores in the interim, and most recently the opening of a section of the Harlem Valley Rail trail. I would like to especially thank Mike Dvorchak and members of our Hamlet Committee, who worked tirelessly on this grant and to Senator Kathy Marchione and her staff, who encouraged and supported us throughout the process.”

New York State Senator Kathleen A. Marchione (R,C-Halfmoon) visited the community in September 2013 as part of her Listening Tour and met with several residents.

“Supervisor Baer, Hillsdale’s Town Board, and the Hamlet Committee have been tireless, powerful advocates for an even better Hillsdale,” said Senator Marchione. “I saw firsthand the need for this sidewalk project and how it will make a positive difference for the entire community. Sidewalks will improve Hillsdale’s standing as a Berkshire destination for visitors across the Northeast, while also making the area safer and more accessible for pedestrians. I’m happy to see that the Department of Transportation was as impressed by their efforts as I was. I look forward to continuing to work in close partnership with Supervisor Baer and the entire Hillsdale community.”

Hillsdale’s Comprehensive Plan includes a vision for sidewalks, public spaces, and access to the newly opened Hillsdale segment of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail.

“Sidewalks will not only improve safety and pedestrian circulation, they will calm traffic and encourage economic development in the heart of Hillsdale’s downtown,” said Supervisor Baer. “But that’s just the beginning. We’re already dreaming of the day when sidewalks will reach all the way to the Roeliff Jansen Community Library and also link up to Harlem Valley Rail Trail extensions and the Roeliff Jansen Park.”

Immediate Next Steps:

  • Establish a small implementation sub-committee and the selection of a Clerk of the Works
  • Meet with DOT representatives to discuss next steps and funding availability
  • Select an engineering firm to assist the Town in implementing sidewalk design and construction
  • Discuss match funding alternatives with our bank

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