How Do I?

City Council

Do the Mayor and City Council have offices in City Hall?
No. While the Mayor and the City Council members use the City Council Chambers at City Hall for meetings, they do not have any designated offices. 
How do I contact the Mayor or a City Council member?
You can contact any council member by email at: contact@ephrata.org or by calling and leaving a message with the City Administrator's office at 509-754-4601 ext. 157. 
What form of government does Ephrata have?

The City of Ephrata works off of a Hybrid City Administrator System of the Mayor-Council Form of Government.

Per Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington (MRSC):
Many mayor-council cities have hired professional city administrators, chief administrative officers, or similarly titled positions to serve under the mayor. The city administrator is usually a full-time position responsible for many administrative and policy-related duties such as budget preparation, personnel administration, and department supervision.

In essence, this is a hybrid model between the mayor-council and council-manager systems, retaining a separately elected mayor who is responsible for administration, but providing for professional management of the city's day-to-day operations. In theory, this also frees the mayor from the need to attend to administrative details and allows the mayor to focus greater attention on policy development, political leadership, and potentially their own private employment apart from city government.

More information about the various forms of governments common in Washington State can be found through Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington (MRSC)

Code Enforcement

Do I have to license my dog?
Yes. All dogs over the age of six (6) months must be licensed with the Ephrata Police Department. To learn more, visit Dog Licenses.
How do I file a Code Violation Complaint?
Depends on the type of code violation.

Call MACC 911 at 509-762-1160 for the following code violations:

Fireworks
Stray Dogs
Barking Dogs
Noise Issues
Vehicles Parked or Abandoned on City Streets
Illegal Burning

For all other Code Violations, please fill out the Code Complaint Form. This form can then be turned into Stacy Hooper at City Hall.
Can I hold a Garage/Yard Sale?
Yes!  However, there are a few rules about using signs to promote your sale. 

The city does not allow box signs or posters on telephone poles. Please see the FAQs below. 

Please contact 509-754-4601 for questions.
Do I have to have a permit for a garage sale?
Garage/yard sales are allowed without permits or fees on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays & public holidays.
Why can't I use box signs or posters?

The Ephrata Municipal Code’s definition for “Litter” includes posters, flyers, box signs, and any other material that is used to advertise an event such as estate sales, yard sales, parties and/or any other event held on residential property.  (EMC 6.12)

Some great tips for Garage/Yard Sales!
DO's
  • Post yard sale ads on Facebook Buy Sell Trade pages and on Craigslist - Moses Lake
  • Place an ad in the Columbia Basin Herald, Grant County Journal or other newspapers.
  • Post a sign on your property: verify it is not on the sidewalk or the public right of way.
  • Post your sale posters on the City of Ephrata billboards 
DON'TS
  • Don’t place signs on street corners, sidewalks, trees, telephone/electrical poles, or any other place that is not at the location of the yard sale
  • Don’t use balloons, arrows, posters or box signs
  • Don’t use cars as signs by placing them other than at the location of the sale.

Please be mindful of the impact the garage/yard sale has on your neighborhood.

Signs placed off-site of the sale could cost the property owner $46.00 each.

Here is a handy flyer with the Do's and Don'ts for holding a garage/yard sale in town: Garage/Yard Sale Flyer.
Where are the City Billboards?

Basin Market parking lot at Division Ave E & D St SE
Billboard


Alder St SW in the parking lot across from the Grant County Journal
Billboard2

Human Resources

What types of jobs are available at the City of Ephrata?
The City of Ephrata has a variety of positions to cover all the services offered. Positions include professional, management, law enforcement, technical, clerical, labor, and customer service.

We hire for full-time, part-time and seasonal/temporary positions to work at several city facilities including City Hall, Department of Public Works, Police Department, and the Park and Recreation Department (including Splash Zone). 
Where are jobs posted?
All jobs are posted on the City of Ephrata website under Job Opportunities
How do I apply for a job?
Each position will have specific instructions on how to apply. Please follow these instructions directly and call 509-754-4601 ext 120 if you have any questions. 
Do you have to live in Ephrata to work for the City of Ephrata?
There is no requirement for you to live within city limits for most positions. However, upper-level management employees may have that as a stipulation of hire. 
What are the requirements to be a City of Ephrata Police Officer?
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR ENTRY-LEVEL APPLICANTS
  • Valid Driver's License
  • Citizen of the United States
  • Must be 21 years of age at the time of appointment
  • Possess a high school diploma or G.E.D. equivalent
  • Physically able to meet minimum physical qualifications
  • Able to read and write the English language
  • Ability to Pass Background Investigation, Psychological Evaluation, Physical Agility Test, Drug Screening, and Polygraph Assessment
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR LATERAL APPLICANTS
  • Two-years continuous law enforcement experience preferred
  • Currently employed as a full-time police officer with public law enforcement
  • Must be working in a job classification the same or similar to this position
  • Must have successfully graduated from the Washington State Law Enforcement Academy or meet WACJT standards for equivalency.
  • Able to meet medical standards for LEOFF Retirement System
  • Ability to Pass Background Investigation, Psychological Evaluation, Physical Agility Test, Drug Screening, and Polygraph Assessment
How do I get certified to become a Police Officer?
In Washington State, the Peace Officer Certification is issued by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission once a candidate passes the Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA). In order to be accepted into a BLEA class, you must be a hired employee of a law enforcement agency. Aside from the requirements listed for the Entry Level position, there is no additional law enforcement training that is necessary prior to applying. 

Library

Does Ephrata have a library?
Yes. The Ephrata Public Library is located at 45 Alder St NW, Ephrata. The library is part of the NCW Libraries system. 
What are the library hours?
Monday 10am – 7pm
Tuesday 10am – 7pm
Wednesday 10am – 7pm
Thursday 10am – 7pm
Friday 10am – 2pm
Saturday 10am – 2pm
Sunday 1 pm– 5pm
What is the library website?

Fire

How to Become a Volunteer Firefighter for the City of Ephrata?
Please contact the Fire Department at 509-754-4666
Can we schedule a Fire Engine Presentation or Station Tour?
Yes, contact the Fire Department at 509-754-4666 and we will be happy to assist you with your request.
I need a CPR course. Who teaches these course locally?
The Ephrata Fire Department offers CPR Courses on a regular basis. If you are interested in signing up for the next class simply call 509-754-4666 and ask to be put on the CPR class list. You will be notified when the next class will be offered.
Why does a fire engine or rescue unit respond when I call for an ambulance?
The fire department responds on serious or life threatening calls. The fire vehicle may be an engine, ladder truck, or rescue unit. The personnel assigned to these vehicles assist the ambulance crew with equipment, patient care and transportation.
When I call for an ambulance, why does the ambulance sometimes come from Moses Lake?
During the course of the day it is not unusual for two calls for the ambulance to come in at the same time. If the AMR ambulance scheduled for Ephrata is busy, an AMR ambulance will be sent from Moses Lake-area station.
When I see an emergency vehicle approaching while driving, should I always pull over to the right and stop?
State law, and common sense, dictate that vehicles yield to emergency vehicles that are operating their emergency lights and siren. Emergency vehicle drivers are taught to pass on the left whenever possible when responding in an emergency mode. When safe, slow down, pull over to the right, and stop. However, there are circumstances where that may not be possible (if you car is already stopped, and you don't have anywhere to pull over). Simply stay put until the emergency vehicle goes around you. If you are blocking the route of the emergency vehicle, and you are able to pull ahead and over into a clear area, use your turn signal to indicate your intentions, and proceed at a safe speed. Never slam on the brakes and stop in the middle of the road when you see apparatus approaching. Make no sudden moves. If an emergency vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction, you should pull over and stop. You have no idea if they are proceeding down the road, or are planning on turning into a driveway or intersection right in front of you. You are not required to slow down or pull over for emergency vehicles that are responding in the opposite direction on a divided highway.

Do not tailgate, "draft", or follow a responding apparatus closely.

Not only is this illegal, you run the risk of collision as vehicles pull back out into traffic after the emergency vehicle goes by.
How do I get a copy of a fire report?
Call the Fire Department at 509-754-4666.
How do I get a copy of an ambulance report or if I have a question about my ambulance bill?
Call AMR at 509-765-2155

Oasis Park

Who can fish in Oasis Park?
Children under the age of fourteen (14) years and and any individual who has an impairment (including a mobility, sensory or cognitive impairment,) which results in a functional limitation are allowed to fish.
How many fish can be caught?
There is a bag limit of 5 fish. The fish can be of any size. 
When is Oasis Park open?
Oasis Park Opens on the 3rd Saturday on April and closes on Labor Day. 

The park itself is open during daylight hours. 
What is the fine for illegal fishing?
People who are caught illegally fishing at Oasis Park are subject to a C7 penalty. For 2021, a C-7 penalty is $160.00.
How do I report illegal fishing?
Please call 509-762-1160 to report violators. Please give the dispatcher as much detail as possible about the violator. 
Can I help my child fish?
Yes. Adults or older siblings are allowed to help younger children fish only for the purpose of teaching. Adults who are not allowed to fish should not have their own fishing pole. 

Public Works

What should I do about a damaged mailbox or lawn?

Report damaged mailbox or lawn to 509-754-4601 ext 300 as soon as damage is noticed so we can verify it and if city is responsible fix it immediately.

What is the City's snow removal policy?
Following the end of a snowfall, the city's priorities for plowing are the following:

  1. Open up the hills and primary streets for emergency services and schools. 
  2. Remove the snow that WSDOT plows to the middle of Basin Street, as required in a n agreement with the State. 
  3. Plow neighborhood residential streets, depending on the depth of the snow.

Read the full Ephrata Municipal Code 10.30 Snow Removal.
Why is snow plowed onto my driveway?
While plowing neighborhoods, the crews will plow down the center of the street. Both sides of the street will receive an equal amount of snow. The city understands that this can be frustrating, but it is the only way to fairly, effectively, and efficiently plow residential streets. 

It is illegal to push snow from any property onto a City street. This creates a hazard for emergency crews and the driving public; it slows down plowing efforts, and violator's will be subject to a $47.00 fine. 
What can residents do to assist the plow crews?

If there is a significant snow event move garbage can and vehicles off roadway if possible, if not look for plow updates online, audible or visual signs that we are nearing their area.

For larger streets: Once plows have pushed snow completely to curb, citizens can park on plowed side to accommodate plowing on the opposite side, finally do not shovel snow back into roadway after plowing we will plow back into wherever it came from.

How do I report potholes or needed road maintenance?
Please email Public Works directly. Staff will be assigned to review the section of road. 

Utility Bills

Emergency Contacts for Water Issues
For water emergencies during open operating hours, call City Hall 509-754-4601.

Any water emergency during outside of operating hours, call MACC Dispatch 509-762-1160. MACC will contact the appropriate city personnel to help.
I need help paying my utility bill.
We all go through some hard times. This past year has been especially difficult. 

Here is some information regarding the City of Ephrata's Utility Relief Program
Utility Relief Application
Utility Relief Checklist
Past Due Resource Letter


There are a few organizations that also may be able to help:


OIC of Washington
(509)765-9206          

Salvation Army
(509)766-5875

Helping Hands
(509)754-5205

Hope Source:
(509)925-1448

How often does the City read my meter?
Meters are read every March, May, July, September and November.
Why is my water bill so high?

It may have been a meter read month. Those show the water consumption used for the previous 2 months.

How do I request a final water bill and transfer water service?

Final Bills are normally requested by the Title Company and paid by them. If not requested by the Title Co., the current owner is responsible to letting us know when the property is set to close with closing date and make sure to pay any unpaid balance in full.

Transfer of water services: The new buyer is responsible to contacting City Hall to sign in to their new Utility Account. New owner needs to come to City Hall with Closing Documents and Picture ID to do so. No Fee associated with that.

Can I have a separate meter for my lawn sprinkler system?

Please contact the Building Department for more information.

When is my utility bill due?
Payments for utility bills, on all accounts, are due the 20th of the month.
Can I set up auto pay?
The City of Ephrata offers an auto pay service for utility bills. 

Please complete the Application for Automatic Bill Pay Plan. Once completed and signed, submit the form and a voided check to the Utility Billing office. 

The completed application *with original signature* and voided check may be scanned and emailed to Kari Chornuk at kchornuk@ephrata.org for processing.

MerchantTransact also has a feature enabling you to set up Automatic Bill Pay. Please follow instructions listed on the MerchantTransact site.
When does the auto bill pay debit from my account?
The City of Ephrata Utility Billing to initiates debit withdrawals from the authorized checking or
savings account on the 20th of each month.