Public Works

Ellis Public Works Department

Public Works Department

The City of Ellis Public Works department oversees recycling, water, sewer, sanitation, streets, building permits, zoning and flood control.

The department also takes care of the Mount Hope Cemetery, 24 pull-thru sites and tent area at the Ellis Lakeside Campground, swimming pool maintenance and five parks within the City limits.

Questions or concerns regarding any of these areas should be reported to the Public Works department during regular business hours Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by calling (785) 726-4741. Summer work hours begin the first Tuesday after Memorial Day and end the first Tuesday after Labor Day and are Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Your calls are important and those not immediately answered will go to voice mail for attention later. During regular business hours, if there is an emergency AND you cannot reach Public Works through the numbers at the bottom of this page, call 785-726-4812.

After hours emergencies can be handled by calling 785-625-1011 to connect with the Ellis Police Department mobile telephone.

Additional Information

Click below to expand and view additional information for each department

Building & Inspection

The City of Ellis is regulated by International Building Codes (ICC 2015). Permits are required for any structure within the City. Everything from a fence to a full commercial building or residence requires a permit. Permits are required for the safety and welfare of the homeowners in Ellis. Building, electrical and plumbing permit forms can be requested by contacting the City Clerk’s Office, and inspections are scheduled through the Public Works Department. Permit costs are based on the cost of construction for the project and the number of inspections required for the project.

Contractors hired to do projects within the City limits are required to be licensed by the City of Ellis. Contractors must show evidence that they have passed ICBO/Experior/ICC/Thomason Prometric testing and provide current liability insurance. Roofing contractors must provide proof of their certification or registration with the appropriate state agency. The City of Ellis also has licenses that include but are not limited to specific things such as concrete, small repair, fencing, excavation, masonry and restoration, to name a few, which do not require test scores. Licenses may be obtained through the City Clerk’s Office, 815 Jefferson, Ellis, KS.

The building inspector shall have the following duties:

  • To enforce all regulations relating to construction, alteration, repair, removal and demolition of building and structures;
  • May permit, with the approval of the governing body, on the basis of duly authenticated reports from recognized sources, the use of new materials or modes of construction, not provided for in this article, and, for the purpose of carrying out the intent of this article adopt an accepted standard of material or workmanlike practices of federal or state bureaus, nation, technical organizations for fire underwriters;
  • To examine all buildings in the process of erection, construction, alteration or relocation in the City for the purpose of determining whether the work is in compliance with the permit given and in compliance with the regulations of the City pertaining to such work, including zoning regulations; and;
  • To keep comprehensive records of applications, of permits or certificates issued, of inspections made, of reports rendered, and of notices or orders issued. All such records shall be open to public inspection during stated office hours, but shall not be removed from the office of the building official without his or her written consent.

(Code 1990)

4-207.      SAME; POWERS. The building inspector shall have the following powers:

  • To enter any building or structure or premises at any reasonable hour, whether complete or in the process of erection, to perform the duties contained in this chapter;
  • To adopt and enforce all such prudent emergency measures as he or she may deem necessary and expedient for the public safety under the laws of the city;
  • May cause any work done in violation of this chapter to be discontinued until he or she shall have satisfactory evidence that the work will be done in accordance with the building regulations of the city, subject to the right of any builder or owner to appeal to the governing body.

(Code 1990)


A major portion of the City of Ellis is located within the floodplain and special requirements are in place for building permits in these areas. Contact the Public Works Department for additional information regarding developing in a floodplain and special permits that may be required. The department also has information on flood proofing, flood protection and flood areas located within the City. An important note: Any alteration to your building or land requires a permit from the City if you are in the floodplain. Even regrading or filling in the floodplain requires a permit.

The City of Ellis participates in the National Flood Insurance Program and you can purchase a separate flood insurance policy. This insurance is backed by the Federal government and is available to everyone, even for properties that have previously flooded. For more information on the National Flood Insurance Program visit their website at

Visit the following link to see if your property is located in the floodplain.


The City of Ellis has a joint Planning Commission/Board of Zoning Appeals. The seven-member commission/board is appointed by the Mayor, with approval of the City Council. Two members shall reside outside the City limits, but within the extra-territorial jurisdiction (3-mile zone). The Planning Commission/Board of Zoning Appeals meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall.

The Planning Commission makes recommendations to City Council, who holds the authority to consider approval of the following Planning Commission applications: (1) change of zoning, (2) plat approval, (3) lot splits, (4) manufactured housing parks, and (5) planned unit development districts.

The Board of Zoning Appeals has the direct authority to consider approval of the following applications: (1) zoning variances, (2) floodplain variances, (3) zoning appeals, and (4) special use permits.   

Application fees vary per the type of application filed. Applications must be submitted to the City Clerk at least 30 days prior to the regular monthly meeting in order to meet statutory Public Hearing requirements for public notification.   

Recycling Center

The City’s recycle drop off site is located at 900 East 8th Street. Head East on 8th Street through the Ellis Lakeside Campground, continue on through the gate and the recycling center building is located on the right side.

It’s important to remember “It’s not just trash anymore.” Like every other raw material, your recyclables have to meet manufacturers’ quality standards. While you can make glass from glass and newspaper from newspaper, you can’t make anything from garbage. Incorrectly prepared materials are not recyclable; they should be bagged and placed in your trash polycart to go to the landfill.

Please place recyclables loose in the collection bins. Do not leave in sacks or other containers.

Hours of Operation

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday | 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  

Wednesdays | 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

1st and 3rd Saturday of Each Month | 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Sanitation Department

The City of Ellis provides city collection for garbage & trash (solid waste), household waste and grass clippings. Household hazardous wastes must be disposed at the Ellis County Hazardous Waste site on announced dates of collection.

Garbage and trash shall consist of waste normally produced by a household or commercial enterprise, but shall not consist of or include any barrels, furniture, bedding, appliances and similar objects; rock, concrete, glass crockery and other mineral refuse; dirt, earth and waste from building operations, wash rack residue and solid waste resulting from industrial processes and manufacturing operations, such as food processing waste, oil or house cinders, lumber scraps and shavings, fireplace ashes or ashes consisting of residue from fire used for cooking or for heating materials or other objects lawfully burned on the premises.

Tree limbs and brush of a small diameter may be bagged and placed in approved containers provided that it is cut in such lengths that it may be placed therein and a lid placed on the container. All other tree limbs or brush shall be bound together by the use of some material and shall be in lengths of no greater than four feet. Tree limbs and brush bound in such manner shall be considered as items subject to a special pick up charge as herein before provided.

All commercial enterprises introducing volumes of cardboard into the city solid waste disposal system shall break down and bundle such cardboard into bundles with exterior dimensions not to exceed three inches per side. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in the cardboard being ineligible for pick up.

Questions or concerns regarding sanitation collection should be reported to the Public Works Department (785) 726-4741 during regular business hours or by emailing


Trash is collected once per week in the residential district and business district. Businesses can request trash be collected more frequently if required. See map up above for weekly collection day.


The City has a grass collection program whereby the resident rents a yard waste polycart from the City for a monthly fee as set by resolution, which is billed monthly from May 1st through November 1st. Place only grass and yard waste (no foreign material or brush) in the yard waste polycart for collection each Monday from April thru October. The resident stores the cart in the off-season.


All customers located within the City who subscribe to any City service must accept sanitation service as provided by the City and are required to utilize either a trash polycart provided by the City or an approved large dumpster (which must be provided by the customer). One trash polycart is included in a customer’s monthly sanitation charge. Additional trash polycarts may be rented for a fee as set by resolution.


Customers may call the City Clerk’s office to arrange for the removal of large or extra-ordinary items that will not fit in the customer’s trash polycart or dumpster. Special pickup charges will be billed on the next utility bill.

Special pickup charge is $10.00 for the first 200 pounds, plus $0.05 per pound for all additional weight. Freon-free appliances are charged an additional $12.00 charge; those not certified Freon-free will have an additional $30.00 added. Disposal fee for car tires is $4.00 each, and $8.00 for car tires with rims. Truck and implement tires will be charged $200/ton. Tree limbs will be subject to special pickup charges AND must be cut to 4-foot lengths prior to pick up.

Wastewater Treatment Plant

The City of Ellis is served by an activated sludge treatment plant constructed in 1997. In 2016, EPA mandates required the City to perform $832,000.00 in plant modifications to achieve new chemical level standards. Regular testing is performed in accordance with KDHE and EPA standards.

The City has a sewer cleaning and vacuum machine to periodically clean problem sewer mains. The City contracts with a vendor who annually cleans a portion of the City’s sewer main lines. All of the City sewer main lines have been cleaned in the last seven years.

Request for sewer repairs and maintenance or concerns about strong sewer odors should be reported to the Public Works Department (785) 726-4741 during regular business hours or by emailing


Sewer Rate Table (PDF)

Monthly sewer rates are determined by the average monthly water usage during the period from the December meter reading to the following March meter reading. Rates are recalculated annually, and become effective on the April 1st billing. New customers will have a monthly base rate as set by resolution until they have established usage during the entire three-month evaluation period. Users not connected to City water or who supplement their municipal water with a private well will be charged a flat sewer rate per month.

Water Treatment Plant

The City’s $5,500,000.00 water treatment plant was completed in 2007. All the water is supplied from City owned wells and is chlorinated at the treatment plant before entering the system. It is regularly tested according to KDHE and EPA standards.


The monthly water bill is composed of the meter charge (based on size of meter) plus the water usage charge (currently $5.03 per 1,000 gallons for all usage) as set by resolution.

A monthly water treatment plant bond charge (per meter) of $26.13 is also included in the monthly bill. Monies collected are used to pay the principal and interest payments on the general obligation bonds funding the water treatment plant. The bonds are scheduled to be paid off by year-end of 2024.


815 Jefferson, Ellis, KS


Clerk's Office Hours

Monday - Friday: 8am - 5pm

Emergency: 911

Police Non Emergency: 785.726.4462 (0) | 785.625.1011 (C)

Public Works: 785.726.4741 (O) | 785.726.1741 (C)