How often are building inspections required?
Every 3 years.
Does the City Attorney provide legal advice to members of the public?
No, the City Attorney does not provide legal advice to members of the public. Please consult attorneys in private practice for personal matters. You may find one listed with the Tompkins County Bar Association - (607) 533-8222 and Neighborhood Legal Services - (607) 273-3666.
What happens if I fail to attend court as directed by my appearance ticket?
What happens if I fail to attend a trial that has been scheduled for my ticket?
What happens if I fail to pay a fine that has been imposed or agreed to?
Failure to attend court or pay a fine may result in the court issuing a warrant for your arrest.
Where is the website that explains the process for a City Code or ABC ticket?
The Ithaca City Court website has a page entitled "How to Proceed With your City Code or ABC Ticket" that explains the legal process.
Ithaca City Court website
What should I do if I can not attend the court date because I will be out of town, or I have to work, or I have an exam, or I have some other conflict?
You must request an adjournment from the court. Adjournments may only be granted by the Ithaca City Court (607-273-2263). Do not contact the prosecutor to request an adjournment.
Can I plead "guilty" or "not guilty" by mail?
While neither NY law nor the City Code explicitly provide for entering a plea by mail for these types of offenses, the court does have procedures that they may permit a defendant to use to enter a plea by mail under certain circumstances. Information about the court may be found at the Ithaca City Court website.
Can I resolve my ticket and/or find out what I will be fined via phone or email to the city prosecutor?
No. The prosecutor may recommend plea bargains to the court, but it is up to the court as to how and when defendants must appear in court or how they may plead guilty to a charge.
Rather than meet with the prosecutor, can discuss my case and try to obtain a plea bargain by phone or email?
No. Because of the many uncertainties involved in phone and email communication, not the least of which is the identify of the defendant, the prosecutor requires "in person" meetings during office hours for defendants to obtain plea bargains.
How do I submit a Freedom of Information request?
You can file a Freedom of Information request in the City Clerk's Office, in City Hall, 108 E. Green Street. Or you can submit it online:
When does summer camp registration begin?
In March of every year.
How do I register my child into a Youth Bureau program?
You can register in person at the Youth Bureau, by mail with a completed registration form and payment, or by fax with a completed registration form and credit card number. We accept cash, checks, VISA, Mastercard or Discover as payments. You cannot enroll over the phone because we need a signature with a credit card payment
When do you publish your recreation program brochure?
We publish three seasonal brochures during the calendar year. The Spring brochure at the beginning of February, the Summer/Fall brochure at the end of April and the Fall/Winter brochure by mid-October. We distribute our brochures to district schools on a county-wide basis, so look for your child to bring it home. You can also pick up a brochure here at the Youth Bureau or find it online: 2011 Summer_Fall Brochure Full.pdf
Can you pencil me in for a pavilion reservation?
Pavilion reservations are made on a first come first serve basis and we require a completed reservation form and payment (cash, check, VISA, Mastercard or Discover) to hold the reservation.
How do I find out if a program has been cancelled?
Decisions regarding program cancellations are rendered as close to the start of a program as possible due to variable weather. Program cancellations are posted at www.cancellations.com. You can also call the Youth Bureau between 4:30pm-5:00pm at 273-8364. After 5:00pm, dial ext. 350 for a recorded message.
How does a program wait list work?
You can place your child on a waiting list for a program. If anything opens up you would be called in the order that you appear on the waiting list.
Can I get a refund?
The Youth Bureau has a no refund, no credit policy. In the event that we cancel a program due to low enrollment, then you can opt to receive either a refund or a credit. Otherwise you cannot receive a refund or credit after a registration has been processed. If there are extenuating circumstances, (such as a medical reason) you can request a refund by contacting the Ithaca Youth Bureau at (607) 273-8364. These requests are considered on a case by case basis and if approved, a processing fee is charged.
How flexible are the age requirements for programs?
If a child does not meet the age requirement then it's at the program instructor's discretion to make any allowances. Please note that there are some programs with strict age requirement policies and some programs that are more flexible.
Can I register my child for a program online?
We're not set up for online registrations at this time, however, we hope to be at some point in the future. You can view and download program information and forms and applications online: Ithaca Youth Bureau Forms.
Do you have scholarships available?
Yes. Need based scholarships are available. Please complete a scholarship application and submit with your income verification. You may also apply for the ECHO scholarship (Every Child Has Opportunities) if you need additional help after an IYB scholarship has been awarded. You can also apply to the ECHO Fund for non-Youth Bureau programs.
Who do I contact to find out more about a specific program?
Click here to download a pdf with contact info for each Youth Bureau program: IYB Dept Contact List
How much do Youth Development Division programs cost?
All services provided by youth development program are free to participants. The Computer All Stars program asks for a reasonable donation to cover the costs for a rebuilt computer if a participant wishes to take it home. Program participants are often expected to do fundraising to cover expenses such as trips and special events.
What mentoring programs does the Youth Bureau offer?
The Youth Bureau has three mentoring programs that serve over 350 young people every year: One-to-One Big Brothers Big Sisters, College Discovery Program, Paul Schreurs Memorial Program.
What are the volunteering opportunities at the Youth Bureau?
Hundreds of people volunteer at the Youth Bureau every year. We could not do what we do without volunteers, so whether you like sports, tutoring, marketing, planning events, or fundraising, we have opportunities for you to make a difference in the community. Click here to download more info about volunteering: Volunteering Opportunities
What is Recreation Support Services (RSS)
Recreation Support Services (RSS) is a department of the Ithaca Youth Bureau. RSS strives to help Tompkins County residents of all ages, primarily those with disabilities, achieve their goals for happiness and well-being. RSS does this by creating leisure opportunities for active participation, making friends, and fostering independence.
What programs do you have for teens?
A variety of opportunities are offered for teens. Check out the Recreation Department, Recreation Support Services, Youth Employment Services, Ithaca Youth Council, Paul Schreurs Memorial Program, Outing Program, College Discovery Program, and Computer All-Stars
How do I find out about employment opportunities at the Youth Bureau?
The Ithaca Youth Bureau is a department of the City of Ithaca. For permanent civil service positions with benefits, please visit the City of Ithaca Human Resources Department. For temporary or seasonal jobs click on the seasonal employment link on our homepage. If you are a teen looking for a job, visit our Youth Employment Services
How do I hire a teen to help around the house?
Call 273-8364 and ask to speak with someone in YES. We will ask you for key details about the job and will refer teens who are interested in working, have been pre-screened, and have developed an employment record with us.
How do I pay a parking ticket?
You can send the payment to the address listed on the back of the ticket, or you can bring the payment to the City Chamberlain's Office in City Hall which is located at 108 E. Green Street. Or you can pay online: Online parking ticket payment
I'm moving. How do I get a permit to park a moving truck or POD storage unit outside my house for an extended period of time?
Street permits are requested through the Engineering office, with meter bags and "no parking signs" picked up from the Streets and Facilities building at 245 Pier Rd. Please contact Kent Johnson in Engineering at 607-274-6528 to request the permits. Parking fees may be assessed.
Does the City have bike lanes?
Yes we do. Here is information about them:
What is the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Project?
Safe Routes to School Project FAQs
What do I need to do if I receive a Notice of Defect about my sidewalk?
A sidewalk Notice of Defect is sent to property owners because the inspection of the sidewalk adjacent to the property resulted in at least 1 condemnable condition on the sidewalk that requires corrective action. It is the adjacent property owner's responsibility to maintain, repair or reconstruct sidewalks. However, property owners do not need to wait until they receive a Notice of Defect to maintain and repair the sidewalk.
For more information, please view the FAQ_about_Notice_of_Defect.pdf document.
Is a permit required to fix my sidewalk?
Yes! To apply for a street permit, please review the instructions and submit the permit. All insurance documents and backup material must be received prior to the permit being issued.
Is patching of a sidewalk permitted?
Yes, patching is permitted; however, it is discouraged because it is unreliable and a temporary fix. Patching is not recommended for condemnable conditions and when removal or replacement of the sidewalk is an option. For more information, read our FAQ_about_Notice_of_Defect.pdf document.
What does it mean when I receive a Sidewalk Notice of Complaint?
Please read our FAQ sheet: FAQ_about_Notice_of_Complaint.pdf
My water is rusty or red. What should I do?
Occasionally sediment is stirred up in the water mains as the result of a heavy demand (fire fighting, for example) or as a result of normal main flushing by the Water & Sewer Division. The water coming out of your tap has been treated and disinfected as usual, but it picked up iron (rust) along the way to your home or business.
We recommend that you run your cold water tap for several minutes until the water clears. In addition, it is best not to do laundry until the water clears since clothing can be stained by the iron in the water.
If your water does not clear up shortly, contact the Water & Sewer Division at 272-1717 to let us know about the problem.
I have no water.
If you have no water in your residence or business and you've already checked to make sure that any plumbing shut-off valves are opened, contact the Water & Sewer Division. During normal business hours (M-F 7am-3:30pm) call 272-1717. After hours, call 273-4680.
There is water flowing from the ground or a damaged fire hydrant.
Report potential water leaks or damaged fire hydrants to the Water & Sewer Division. During normal business hours (M-F 7am-3:30pm) call 272-1717. After hours, call 273-4680.
There was a backup in my sewer line. Who pays to unclog the line?
The answer to this question depends on where the problem is located.
If your sewer lateral backs up, we typically recommend that you contact one of the local drain cleaning companies or your plumber. They can quickly determine where the blockage is. If the problem is between your house and the clean-out on your property line (most often the case), the cost of unclogging the sewer lateral is the property owner's responsibility.
If the problem lies between the clean-out and the sewer main in the street, the Water & Sewer Division will be contacted to make the necessary repairs at no cost to the property owner.
How do I apply for a new water or sewer service?
Contact the Water & Sewer Division at 272-1717 to apply for a new water or sewer service.
For a new water service, City crews will tap the water main in the street and run the water service to a curb box at the property line. The initial installation cost is billed to the property owner; however, the City will maintain the new water service from the main to the curb box indefinitely at no cost to the property owner. Connecting the water service from the curb box to the water meter in the house is the owner's responsibility and is typically performed by a licensed plumbing contractor.
For a new sewer service, City crews will install a sewer lateral from the main to a clean-out at the property line. The initial installation cost is billed to the property owner; however, the City will maintain the new sewer lateral from the main to the clean-out indefinitely at no cost to the property owner. Connecting the sewer lateral from the clean-out to the building is the owner's responsibility and is typically performed by a licensed plumbing contractor.
What does a typical sewer service look like?
Click here to see a diagram: sewer_service_diagram.jpg
The figure above shows a typical residential sewer service in the City of Ithaca.
1. Sewer Main - The sewer main is located in the street and typically PVC or clay tile.
2. Sewer Lateral - The smallest sewer lateral meeting code is a 4-inch diameter PVC pipe.
3. Curb Clean-Out - The sewer clean-out is typically located in the street right-of-way. It allows City crews to clean the street side of the lateral in the event of a blockage. It is the property owner's responsibility to make sure that the clean-out is always visible and accessible. Some older homes may not have a clean-out.
4. Clean-Out - Typically located near the foundation wall. This clean-out allows access to the sewer lateral from the house to the Curb Clean-Out
5. Trap - The trap prevents any gases in the sewer from backing up into the building.
6. Vent - The vent lets fresh air into the sewer lateral, preventing a vacuum condition where water might back up.
7. Connection to Building Drain
8. Property Line
9. Responsibility of Property Owner - The property owner is responsible for maintaining the Curb Clean-Out (See #4) and all piping from the Curb Clean-Out to the house.
10. Responsibility of the City - Once the sewer service is brought up to code (Minimum 4-inch diameter PVC pipe with a clean-out at the curb), the City is responsible for all maintenance and repairs from the main in the street to the Curb Clean-Out.
What does a typical water service look like?
Click here to see a diagram: water_service_diagram.jpg
This figure shows the components of a typical residential water service in the City of Ithaca.
1. Water Main - Typically cast iron or ductile iron pipe in the street.
2. Corporation Stop - A valve installed while tapping into the main.
3. Copper pipe - The smallest water service meeting City code is a 3/4-inch Type K copper pipe.
4. Curb Valve Box - This cast iron box allows access to the Curb Stop (See #5). It is the property owner's responsibility to make sure that the Curb Box is always visible and accessible.
5. Curb Stop - A valve typically installed in the street right-of-way.
6. Isolation Valves - Valves are required by code on both sides of the water meter.
7. Water Meter - The water meter is sized to match your water service and installed by our Meter Department.
8. Property Line
9. Responsibility of Property Owner - The property owner is responsible for maintaining the Curb Valve Box (See #4) and all piping from the Curb Stop into the house.
10. Responsibility of the City - Once the water service is brought up to code (Minimum 3/4-inch Type K Copper), the City is responsible for all maintenance and repairs from the main in the street to the Curb Stop.