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December 2020 Newsletter


NEW THIS MONTH: Utility bills can now be paid by E-Checks through the Village payment portal – There is a $1.25 processing fee per transaction, but no additional fees for these payments. To take advantage of this easy pay option, you will need to set up an online utility account. Please visit to register, you will need your utility account number and the last payment amount. Once enrolled, you will receive email notifications that your bill is ready. At that time, you will be able to view and print your bill, as well as access your account history online.
Paper bills will continue to be available upon request and you may continue to pay your bills using your preferred method of payment, whether that be by cash, money order, check (personal or bank), credit card ($1.25 processing fee plus 3% service fee) or E-check. If you have any questions regarding the online portal, emailed utility bills in general, or signing up for email notifications of Village news and events, please direct them to

From the Mayor’s Desk

Hello Neighbors,
Recent experience is proving once again that even our small village is not immune to the spread of COVID-19. As we enter winter, Madison County is experiencing a spike on the order of those that are occurring in many parts of the country. There are brighter days ahead, for certain, but for now the best advice is to not let our guard down, and in fact to redouble our efforts to follow public health protocols such as wearing a mask, staying socially distant, and avoiding unnecessary contact. Staying focused and safe now is the quickest route back to the normalcy we all long for.
The Village is committed to do all that we can to protect our employees as well as our residents. The pandemic has heightened our awareness of the deficiencies in the Village Hall and we are making plans to improve security and health conditions. When complete, the project will: 1) provide appropriate separation between staff and the public, as well as separate and safer working spaces for employees; 2) improve air circulation, heating, and cooling to provide a healthier working environment and increase energy efficiency; 3) improve handicapped accessibility and public convenience; and 4) repair and improve the building exterior to preserve and maintain our beautiful Village Hall and also enhance security. As always, we are very fortunate to have a very able Village crew to do much of the work which we hope to begin soon.
Special thanks to Debbie Forstenzer and her talented committee for creating a safe way to celebrate our annual “Night of Lights” and keep the holiday spirit alive in Hamilton! In addition, the HBA has developed a “Stay Safe, Stay Local – Shop Hamilton” marketing plan and, once again, I urge you to support our local businesses as much as you can even as you follow socially responsible precautions. These businesses provide an economic vitality and vibrancy that make our Village special and they need our assistance now more than ever.
I send special holiday wishes to you and your families and hope that you are able to celebrate in a safe and joyous manner. Please remember that we are all in this together and hope that we can ring in a safer and healthier 2021!

All the best, RuthAnn

From the DPW – Crew Chief Derek Buschor would like everyone to know that the regular leaf and yard waste pickup program has ended and the equipment has been put into storage for the winter. If you still have leaves or yard waste, the DPW will pick them up if they are bagged or placed into cans. Also, Christmas trees that are put out for pick up can be recycled only if they are free of lights, tinsel and other foreign objects. Please take extra care to remove all such items from your tree. If you have any questions as to how or when you should put out yard waste or Christmas trees, please call the DPW: 315-824-2590.

Wildlife in the Village – Depending on where you live or walk recreationally in the Village, you may have been noticing more standing water than usual in ditches and low spots this year. Our Village crews have struggled mightily to keep culverts clear, but Mother Nature and the local beaver population are formidable foes. We are continuing to address the issue as best as we can.
For the last five years, the Village has conducted a nuisance deer reduction program. The number of deer taken under the program have decreased considerably the last two years, so the Village is not conducting the program this winter. We are, however, still interested in gathering information about wildlife impacts, so if you have concerns about deer causing damage to your property or within the Village generally, please contact Administrative Assistant Nancy Mitchell at:

Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative – Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order requiring all municipalities having police departments to participate in the Police Reform and Reinvention Process and adopt a policing reform plan by April 1, 2021. As part of this process, the Village is seeking public comment regarding perceptions of current policing practices and suggestions as to how our police may better address community needs in the future. An open community forum will be held in January. Please check the Village website in the coming weeks for details as to how you can participate and have your voice heard.

Codes Corner – The Village Board has adopted Local Law 2020-3 which is intended to provide for more effective notifications to residents by the placement of lawn signs giving notice of pending zoning applications, so be aware of those signs when you see them in your neighborhood. This local law also establishes new regulations regarding the placement of fences. Please note that all new fences now require a building permit from the Code Enforcement Officer prior to starting construction.

Village Office – The Village Office remains closed to the public for the protection of our employees and residents. If you need assistance with a Village matter, please call 315-824-1111 between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., or email the Village Clerk at and arrangements will be made to address your concern. Unless it is absolutely necessary to come into the Village Office, all requested documents, such as payment receipts, birth and death certificates, etc., will be returned by mail. You can find information about Village services, updated news, and board meeting minutes on the Village website:

Through the support of Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand in the US Senate and the efforts of Congressman Brandon Williams, who initiated the process in the House of Representatives, the Village of Hamilton has been approved to receive $1M in congressional funding for our Route 12B water infrastructure improvement project. We are so grateful for the support of our political leaders and their understanding of local issues.

When the DOT refurbishes our 12B corridor, the Village anticipates replacing water and sewer pipes that are 100 years old. This is an immense project and this grant will  help lessen the burden on our taxpayers.