The Town of Otisco
The Town is situated approximately 21 miles south of Syracuse, New York.
The area in which the Town is located had been occupied for centuries by the Onondaga People, one of the original 5 nations of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Confederacy in northeast North America.
The name "Otisco" may have been derived from the Iroquois name for Nine Mile Creek, Us-te-ke, meaning "bitter-nut-hickory". At least one older map, published in 1825, has the name spelled as "Ostisco". The name may also have been derived from the word ostickney, meaning "waters much dried away", or from the Onondaga word ostick, meaning "the water is low".
The area became part of the former Military Tract of Central New York State which consisted of nearly 2 million acres of land that was set aside to compensate New York's soldiers after their participation in the Revolutionary War (American War of Independence). The Town was first settled by outsiders around 1798, and permanent settlement began around 1801. The Town of Otisco was formed in 1806 from parts of the towns of Marcellus, Pompey and Tully.
The Town also encompasses the Hamlets of Otisco and Amber, the latter being situated on the north shore of Otisco Lake, which is the easternmost of New York's eleven Finger Lakes.
The Town's picturesque countryside, with its rolling hills and mountainous terrain, is rural, dotted with homes, family farms and small businesses.
There were 2,541 residents and 922 households within the Town according to the 2010 census. In contrast to its relatively small population, the Town of Otisco is the 4th largest Town in Onondaga County in terms of land size, covering approximately 31.2 square miles with approximately 34.40 miles of Town roads. The Town Government consists of a Town Board, Town Clerk, Town Justice Court, Town Highway Department, Code Enforcement Officer, Animal Control Officer, Tax Assessors, Tax Collector, Attorney for the Town and Town Financial Advisor.
A Directory of the Town's Municipal Departments can be found in the Municipal Directory on this website at townofotisco.com/services/
Town Clerk’s Extended Hours for September, 2021
In addition to the Town Clerk’s regular hours as indicated in the Town Directory on this website, the Town Clerk will be open during the month of September, 2021 on Wednesdays from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM and again in the afternoon and evening on Wednesdays in September from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM.
Notice of Otisco Town Board’s br>
Adoption of Local Law Subject to Permissive Referendum
On August 9, 2021, the Town Board of the Town of Otisco adopted Local Law # 2 of 2021 entitled Opting-Out of Adult-Use Cannabis Licenses for Retail Dispensaries and On-Site Consumption in the Town of Otisco, subject to permissive referendum. By such action made in consideration of the best interests of the Town, the Town Board has opted-out of allowing adult-use cannabis licenses for retail dispensaries and on-site consumption locations within the Town as authorized under New York State’s Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act.
Local Law # 2 of 2021, which is subject to a permissive referendum by the electorate, shall become effective 45 days after its adoption and its approval by a majority vote of the Town’s electorate if a petition is timely filed requiring that Local Law # 2 of 2021 be approved by the Town’s electors. If a petition requesting a referendum by the electorate is not filed within 45 days of the adoption of Local Law # 2 of 2021, then Local Law # 2 of 2021 shall be filed with the Office of the Secretary of State in New York State and shall become effective 20 days after filing.
New Time for Town Board Meetings
Please note that the Town of Otisco Town Board's regular monthly meetings starting times have
been changed from 7:30 PM to 7:00 PM.
Regular Town Board Meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of the month commencing at 7:00 PM
(except for the month of November due to budget meetings. The date and time of the November
Town Board Meeting is established by the Town Board at the October Town Board meeting).
Regular Town Board Meetings are open to the public and are held at the Town Hall located at
1924 Barker Street in Otisco, New York.
To speak with the Town Supervisor or any of the Town Counselors, please call (315) 696-4676
and follow the prompts on the recorded message, or you may attend any regular Town Board
Meeting and request that the Board address any questions or concerns.
The Tax Collector now has a drive through window located on the South side of the Town Hall (right side as you are facing the Town Hall) at 1924 Barker St., Otisco, NY 13159 for the transaction of tax related business during the Tax Collector's business hours (please see Tax Notice under Legal Notices on this website for the Tax Collector's hours.