Otego Village Hall is located at 4 River Street, Otego NY 13825; phone: 607-988-9093.
Otego Township was formed in 1830. Otego remained under one municipal government from 1830 until 1892 when an announcement appeared that there would be a corporation election on the 4th day of June at the Otego Hotel (present site of D. Strauss home). It was stated that the annual budget for the newly incorporated village was expected to be $250.00.
The election was held; 138 votes were cast with 71 voting yes and 67 no, to incorporate the village. The Village of Otego was born with a four vote majority. Officers were elected with J. Rutson Thorp becoming the first President. (The title of the chief officer was not changed to Mayor until 1927.) The $250 needed to finance the village was borrowed, with the trustees signing a personal note.
The records are not clear as to why some members of the community decided to form a village and separate themselves from the Town of Otego. An indicator could be the kind of community related projects that were undertaken by the Village officers. Projects that perhaps the Town was not willing to fund.
A devastating fire on Main Street in 1877 wiped out all the buildings from the Otego Hotel to River Street sparing only the store on the corner of Main and River (Anna Smith property). The first laws of the new Village established a Hose and Fire Company. Street lighting was a concern and at the July 1892 meeting, two trustees were appointed to investigate the matter of obtaining oil lamps and lamp posts. In August, twenty-five lamps and poles were purchased and G.N. Mulkins was hired to light the lamps at 45¢ a night.
The decision to incorporate the Village was not overwhelmingly popular and by 1897 a petition was circulated calling for another vote. This time the result was more favorable with 109 affirmative and 43 negative.