Frequently asked questions

Can I reserve a shelter at one of the parks?


Answer: The City makes park shelter house reservations on a first come first serve basis. The only shelters we make reservations for are the brick shelter house and the southeast shelter house at Forest Park, the gazebo at City Park and Haley Park located downtown on second street. Please click here to view the shelter house calendar and reserve a shelter house.




What can be done about barking dogs?


Answer: Call the Police Department at 242-2561.




My electricity is off who do I call?


Answer: The City of Ottawa strives to maintain a reliable electric system, but in the event you have an outage call: 785-229-3710 (7am-4pm) or 785-229-3750 (after hours)




Who is responsible for taking care of the sidewalk?


Answer: According to Kansas Statutes, property owners of abutting property are responsible to maintain sidewalks in the public right-of-way. Ocassionally, when funds are available, the City will consider a request for financial participation in some public sidewalk projects.




What can I do if I can't pay my entire utility bill this month?


Answer: Please contact Hope House at 242-4444 and Salvation Army at 242-7440 for possible assistance




Who is responsible for taking care of the alleys?


Answer: The City of Ottawa (Streets Division) maintains alleys. Please call 229-3656 to speak to the Superintendent. If he is not available, someone will take an appropriate message.




Is there a fee for reserving the shelter houses?


Answer: No




Do I need to get a driveway permit?


Answer: If you will be completing any work within the public right-of-way a permit is required. Forms for application are available on the website in the Community Development Department or by searching our Web Documents folder located on our home page under our social media links. City ordinance provides for a $10 fee for driveway permits.




Will the City pick up limbs, brush and yard debris?


Answer: We only pick up limbs from curbside when there has been significant storm damage throughout the city. When a determination is made that collection is necessary, we will publicize that on the website, the Cable Access Channel, Facebook, and local media outlets. We typically will give residents notice via these media outlets a week or more in advance of the collection so they have time to respond. As this project is an addition to routine functions, we'll try to only pass by one time to collect.




May I pay my utility bill on such and such date?


Answer: Different payment arrangements can be made if you contact us before discontinuance of service. Please call us at 785-229-3600 to discuss those options




Is my tap water safe to drink?


Answer: Yes. Ottawa has consistently met or exceeded all drinking water requirements set forth by state and federal regulations and has never had a violation of these regulations.




How can I find out where my property line is located?


Answer: If you are not sure where you property line is, you can go to the County Appraisers Office and ask for an aerial map of your property. This map will give you an idea of where your property lines are. The ONLY 100% way to know where your property line is to have it surveyed.




What about bottled water compared to city tap water?


Answer: Bottled water may come from springs, artesian wells or be the product of a municipal water supply. Water bottlers are regulated by the FDA and are not held to the same stringent standards as Public Water Supplies which are regulated by the EPA. While generally accepted as safe, bottled water carries no residual disinfectant like tap water and carries an exorbitant price as compared to tap.




Can a homeowner do his/her own electrical, plumbing and HVAC work?


Answer: The rule of thumb is NO, however you may contact the Community Development Department and speak with one of the inspectors to determine what work is to be done and whether it is minor enough to be allowed.




What do I need to know before installing a swimming pool?


Answer: Since there are many variables to the installation of a swimming pool, please contact the Community Development Department at 229-3620 to discuss your options.




How do I find where someone is buried?


Answer: Please contact the Highland Cemetery Sexton (785-229-3655) with your request for information. We will research available information as time is available and contact you with our findings.




What types of work require a permit?


Answer: When you install, enlarge, alter, repair, convert, or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical, or plumbing systems, which needs to be done by city licensed contractors. New Construction: Residential structures or Commercial Buildings, Garages, Sheds & Car ports.




Who maintains street trees?


Answer: The responsibility for maintaining trees (and other landscaping) within the right-of-way abutting private property rests with the abutting owner. Trees are to be pruned such that a minimum clearance above the top of curb (edge of pavement) is fifteen feet.




How do I request a vacation watch for my residence?


Answer: We will take your information and forward I to the Patrol Division. We cannot guarantee how often your home will be checked during your absence.




How can I obtain a copy of my vehicle accident report crime report?


Answer: Police and accident reports are $5.00. Copies can be obtained in person during office hours or by mailing the fee along with a self-addressed, stamped, envelope to Ottawa Police Department Records, 715 West 2nd Street, Ottawa, KS 66067.




Can I pay my utility bill on-line?


Answer: Yes




How do I file for a marriage license?


Answer: The Ottawa Municipal Court does not issue Marriage Licenses. Please contact the Franklin County District Court at 301 S Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067. 785.242.6000.




Does the Ottawa Fire Department have a Dalmatian?


Answer: No, not at this time. Fire Chief G.A. Diamond, Jr. (OFD Chief from 1968 to 1988) had a Dalmatian named Kim that spent time at the fire station. We do have a “Fire Pup” costume that is sometime used at fire prevention events




Are fireworks allowed to be used in Ottawa?


No. City ordinance prohibits the use and possession of fireworks within the city limits, except for the public display provided by the Ottawa Jaycees.




What qualifications are needed to become a volunteer firefighter with the Ottawa Fire Department?


Answer: The qualifications for OFD volunteer firefighter are nearly the same as those for full-time firefighter. Kansas Emergency Medical Technician certification is not required.




How do I report a pothole?


You can report potholes from this website using the "Report Issue" link, or call 785-229-3630 during normal City Hall business hours.




How do I apply for a dog license?


Answer: Dog licenses are required in the City of Ottawa and can be obtained from Prairie Paws Animal Shelter, 3173 Highway K-68, Ottawa, KS 66067. 785.242.2967.




How can I recycle?


Answer: Franklin County operates a Recycling (and Household Hazardous Waste) Center which accepts drop-off during specified hours. You can learn more about the Recycling Center by calling 785-229-8476.




What work does not require a permit?


Answer: Painting, interior & exterior, replacing carpet, vinyl flooring, & cabinets, replacement of windows same size, same place.




Why is my utility bill so high?


Answer: Many factors can cause your bill to be higher than expected. Please call us at 785-229-3600 to discuss your individual situation.




Who do I contact if I have a complaint about the conditions of the house I am renting?


Answer: Please contact the Community Development Department at 229-3620 to set up a time for the inspectors to come out to check the conditions you are concerned about.




What if there is a tree limb on my service line?


Answer: The City will typically take care of this problem during regular working hours unless it is a hazardous situation in which case crews will be dispatched to deal with the problem. Call: 785-229-3710 (7am-4pm) or 785-229-3750 (after hours).




What building codes are being used?


Answer: The 2012 International Building, Plumbing, Mechanical, One and Two Family Residential, Property Maintenance, Energy Conservation, Fuel Gas, and Fire Codes, The 2011 National Electric Code, Private Sewage Disposal Code.




What is the source of Ottawa’s Water Supply?


Answer: Ottawa draws its water from the Marais des Cygnes River. We have also purchased Assurance Storage in Melvern and Pomona reservoirs to protect our supply of water during times of drought.




Does the bulk water station belong to the City?


Answer: Yes the City owns and maintains the bulk water station, if problems arise call 785-229-3600 (8am-5pm) and 785-229-3750 (after hours)




How do I contact the police officer or detective handling my case?


Answer: If you know the officer's name dial 785.242.2561 and reach them using the automated menu. Please leave your name, a return phone number and a message. If you believe the officer is working, call Dispatch at 785.242.1700.




Can I talk to the judge?


Answer: The Judge will speak to defendants during their assigned arraignment or trial time.




My sewer is backing up in my house. Do you work on this?


Please call the Utility Center @ 785-229-3710. We will send someone out to check the city main sewer, and if it is not the main sewer, they will advise you of this. You will then have to contact a plumber of your choice.




What kind of hours do the firefighters work?


Answer: · The firefighters work rotating 24-hour shifts for 212 hours per month. This provides the City of Ottawa with continuous fire service coverage every day of the year. · The OFD responds at all times in all kinds of weather, usually within 5 minutes of receiving a call.




Is trash burning allowed in the City of Ottawa


Answer: No, trash burning is prohibited by city ordinance.




Is burning of brush, leaves and limbs allowed in the City of Ottawa?


Answer: Yes, but by permit only. If you wish to burn, call the Fire Department at 242-1700 and request an open burning permit. The dispatcher will contact the OFD supervisor, who will then contact you. If you meet the requirements of the permit, a permit will be issued for that day.




Why does a fire truck come to my business for fire safety inspections?


Answer: Generally fire trucks go to businesses for fire safety inspections because firefighters are the ones that conduct the inspections. They must be able to respond to emergencies from wherever they are in the city.




Are all firefighters medically trained?


Answer: Yes, but to different levels of certification. All are CPR trained and all have first aid training. Some are First Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians, Emergency Medical Technician Intermediates, and Mobile Intensive Care Technicians.




How do I report possible drug activity?


Answer: You may report in progress activity by calling 911. Also, the Drug Enforcement Unit is available to take all information. Their number is 785.242.2561 ext 555




How can I file a police report?


Answer: The Franklin County Sheriff's Office dispatches our police officers. Contact them by calling 911 in the case of an emergency or by calling the non-emergency number 785.242.1700. Also, you may go to the Ottawa Law Enforcement Center, 715 West 2nd Street,




Does Ottawa Police Department have a lost and found?


Answer: The Ottawa Police Department evidence unit makes every effort to contact the owners of found property. You may contact the evidence unit anytime during normal business hours to inquire if an item has been located.




How can I arrange for garbage collection?


Answer: The City of Ottawa does not collect solid waste. The private contractors who do so are usually listed in the yellow pages under the category of "garbage collection"




Where is the landfill and when is it available for use?


Answer: Franklin County operates a Solid Waste Transfer Station at 3323 Osborne Terrace. Drop-offs are usually accepted from the public for a specified charge per ton.
Office Hours: Monday through Friday | 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Saturdays | 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. | Closed Holiday's
3323 Osborn Terrace Ottawa, KS 66067
Phone: (785) 242-4612




How do I get a gun permit or gun registration?


Answer: The Ottawa Police Department does not issue gun permits or register guns. Please contact the Franklin County Sheriff's Department for this service. 785.229.1200.




How do I submit information to the GAC23?


Answer: To submit information to the Government Access Channel 23 you can email it to gac20@ottawaks.gov where it will be reviewed. You will be contacted via email on whether the content meets the requirements of the Government Access Channel.




How to I obtain a security license?


Answer: Complete an application at the Ottawa Police Dept, submit fingerprints and pay a fee of $25.00. Afterwards, an identification card will be issued and is valid until the end of the issuing year.




How do I register as a violent offender?


Answer: The Ottawa Police Department does not register violent offenders. Please contact the Franklin County Sheriff's Department for registration information. 785.229.1200.




How do I get a stop sign installed?


Answer: Each year we receive many inquiries about installing stop signs or traffic signals as a way to reduce speeding. Research shows that other measures are more effective than these. Please call Public Works @ 229-3630 with any questions.




How do I apply to receive a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order or a Protection from Stalking (PFS) order?


Answer: The Ottawa Police Department does not issue protection orders. Please contact the Franklin County Attorney's Office at 785.229.8970 or the Franklin County District Court for more information at 301 S Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067. 785.242.6000.




How can I obtain fingerprints for background checks, employment, or adoptions?


Answer: Every Thursday: 10:00AM to 2:00PM $10 fee (cash, check and debit/credit card) State required fingerprints for Nursing and Teaching please ensure your packet includes postage as we are required to mail them directly from the Police Department.




Does the city of Ottawa require a deposit for utility services?


Answer: We do not charge a utility deposit, but we do charge a nonrefundable service charge to your first month’s bill, which is $35 for electric service and $35 for water.




Does the city of Ottawa trim or remove trees?


Answer: Yes, if they interfere with the power line




How do I report a water leak in the street or my yard?


Answer: The City’s Utility Center dispatches repair crews and is manned from 7AM to 4 PM, Monday through Friday and can be reached at 229-3710. We will send someone out to check on this.
After hours or on weekends contact the Water Treatment Plant at 229-3690 or if no answer call the Power Plant at 229-3750. If the water is coming up between the water meter and your house, it will be your responsibility to repair.




How do I contact the animal control officer?


Answer: Call 911. If your request is not urgent you may leave a message on the animal control officer's voice mail during office hours. He will be automatically paged and will contact or respond to the situation you report. Please leave a detailed message.




What are my options if my service line is down?


Answer: The service line from the pole to the meter belongs to the City, you may call the City to have the line restored but any components attached to the house that are damaged will require an electrician to fix. 7am-4pm 785-229-3710
After Hours 785-229-3750




Why haven’t you marked my water and sewer lines to my house, I called Kansas One Call?


Answer: The City only marks to the water meter and the city sewer main line. Lines to your house are private.




What is the phone number for Drivers License?


Answer: Department of Motor Vehicles can be reached at 785-242-1276.




What is the phone number for Car Tags?


Answer: Franklin County Motor Vehicle Department can be reached at 785-229-3455




All court child support questions?


Answer: The Ottawa Municipal Court does not issue Child Support Orders. Please contact the Franklin County District Court at 301 S Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067. 785.242.6000.




How do I contact the Ottawa Municipal Court?


Answer: The Ottawa Municipal Court is located in the Law Enforcement Center at 715 West 2nd Street, Ottawa, KS, 66067. The phone number is 785.242.5333




How much are city of Ottawa municipal court costs?


Answer: Court costs are $75.00.




Why do I have to pay court costs if I am not attending court?


Answer: This is a fee required by city ordinance. It is assessed in all cases unless exempt by state statute




Can I get my electric-water reconnected after regular business hours?


Answer: Yes there is someone on call to handle these situations, assuming you can satisfy any outstanding payments. Call 785-229-3750.




How can I get a drainage problem repaired?


Answer: City drainage maintenance is limited to public storm drainage systems. This includes underground piping that is within the street rights-of-way or in dedicated storm drainage easements. Routine grounds maintenance (mowing, debris removal, etc.) in drain





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