City Hall and all other City facilities are closed to the public as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. The closures will be effective after 5 p.m. Thursday, March 19, and will continue through May 15, 2020. City staff will continue to report to their offices and serve the public. Residents are encouraged to conduct City business online or by contacting individual City departments directly. Residents who are unsure how to conduct their City business may contact the City’s customer service hotline from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 515.239.5670.
An officer stopped me for no reason and acted very rude to me. I want to issue a complaint against that officer. What do I need to do?
Contact the Police Department at 515-239-5133 and ask to speak to the supervisor on duty to investigate the incident.
Can you tell me the road condition of the roads in Central Iowa?
The Iowa State Patrol offers a road report hot-line at 800-288-1047 or 511 on your cell phone or http://www.511ia.org/
Does my bicycle need to be licensed with the city? If so, where do i need to go to get a license?
The City of Ames recommends bicycle owners in the community register their bikes. To make this program as simple as possible, the City has teamed with ISU to develop one University/City registration tag that is free and non-expiring. Bicycle owners fill out a short form either in person at the locations listed below or on-line. Your information is recorded in our system and you receive a sticker with a registration number to affix to your bike. It's that easy! You will need to know the make, model, type of bike, serial number, speeds, color, and style to complete the registration process. You can register at the City Finance Department, City Hall, 515 Clark Avenue; Iowa State University, Armory Bldg, Room 27; or on-line at http://www.parking.iastate.edu/permit/bike/# and your sticker will be mailed to you.
Does the city of Ames have a severe weather outdoor warning system?
Yes, the emergency outdoor warning system is activated whenever the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning for Ames. Additionally, actual sightings of tornadoes by law enforcement personnel or other reliable sources are grounds for activating the warning system. Two important notes: the system is routinely tested at 10:00 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month, weather permitting, and we do not issue an "all clear" siren. For additional information, please refer to local radio and television stations - please do not call the police department during severe weather situations - unless you have an actual emergency. For indoor notification we strongly encourage the use of a weather radio.
How about fingerprinting children?
We also fingerprint children. The Community Resource Officer offers free public fingerprinting sessions at locations throughout Ames as part of their community service program. If you have an immediate need for finger printing your child, you may come to the police station at the times listed above.
How can I get a noise permit?
If you anticipate having some activity which might generate a violation of the noise ordinance, you should apply for a noise permit. These permits are available from the Ames Police Department, but you need to plan ahead in order to apply for one. If you apply, you will be asked to complete an application form that describes the site, the source of the expected noise, and the responsible person(s) in control of the party. There is no fee for obtaining a noise permit. In addition, we have information that might be helpful if you are planning a large gathering - information that just might help you avoid problems. If you are granted a noise permit, it will specify just how loud your event may be and the time(s) you will be allowed to exceed the normal limits. Applications need to be submitted 24 hours before the event or by noon on Fridays for the current weekend. Criteria for granting noise permits includes no arrest for the applicant or at the planned address within the past year, and no other permit already issued for the same date/time within the same block.
How can I get my towed vehicle out of the impound lot?
Vehicles are impounded for a variety of reasons, such as: violation of the snow ordinance, various arrest procedures, as an abandoned vehicle, or as a traffic hazard. Towing for the impoundment is re-bid every two years by Ames merchants. Currently, the contract for towing is with CIT - Central Iowa Towing, 2019 East Lincoln Way, Ames, 515-290-4188. Fees for towing and storage are payable through CIT. Depending on the reason for the vehicle being towed, there may also be a parking ticket that the vehicle owner is responsible for.
How can I obtain a copy of an incident or accident report?
The Records Division of the Ames Police Department will provide copies of reports for insurance companies, etc. for a nominal fee. The office is located at the Police Department, and is open weekdays from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm., 515-239-5135.
How can I obtain a restraining order against someone?
There are several ways to obtain a restraining order against someone. You may want to consult with a private attorney and have them represent you. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney, you may ask the Story County Legal Aid Services at 515-382-2471 for assistance. Finally, in cases of domestic abuse, a victim can go directly to the Clerk of Court Office and get assistance with the paperwork.
How do I apply for the Citizen Police Academy?
Applications may be picked up at the Police Department or contact Community Resource Officer Kurt Kruger, 515-239-5432, or email@example.com for more information. The Citizen Police Academy is an 8-week program starting in January and September of each year. The course covers different areas of police department operations including, police ethics, use of force, crime scene investigations, narcotics, firearms training, to name a few. Eligibility requirements are as follows: you must live or work in Ames, be 19 years of age or older, have no felony convictions anywhere and no misdemeanor arrests within the last three years. There are no physical requirements although students are encouraged to participate in the hands-on training.
How do I report graffiti I've seen in Ames?
You may call the Police non-emergency number, 515-239-5133 to report graffiti or click on this link to complete an online reporting form. Report Graffiti.
How long can I park my car on the street?
You can park your vehicle in the same place on any city street or municipal parking lot for up to 48 hours, unless otherwise posted. After 48 hours, you are subject to a ticket or towing.
I don't have room in my garage or driveway for all my vehicles. Can I park a car in my front yard?
No. In accordance with Ames City Code Sec. 18.15, parking a motor vehicle in the front yard of a residential structure is prohibited.
I got a parking ticket that I didn't deserve. Do I have to pay it?
You may appeal the parking ticket through the office of the Chief of Police. The situation will be investigated using the Municipal Code as a guide and/or discussing it with the issuing officer. If the appeal is denied, you may appeal it further by requesting a trial through the City Attorney's office 515-239-5146.
I need to be fingerprinted for a job application, professional license or other personal reason, will the Ames Police Department do this?
ALL FINGERPRINTING SERVICES HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Yes, please come to the Ames Police Department's Records Division and explain what you need. General public fingerprinting is offered on Tuesdays 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. and Thursdays 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Please plan to arrive by 12:45 p.m. to get checked in.) Fee for this service is $10; cash, MasterCard, or Visa are accepted. You will need to bring all the fingerprint forms with you for your particular needs and a photo ID. If you do not have any fingerprint cards, we do have the FBI blue applicant fingerprint cards (form FD-258).
I need to get a dog license. How much does that cost and where do I go to do that?
Licenses for dogs or cats are not required by the city of Ames. Current rabies tags are required. Check with your veterinarian of choice, or call the Ames Animal Shelter at 515-239-5530.
I received an obscene/harassing phone call. What should I do?
If you receive repeated prank phone calls, phone harassment or other calls that might require follow-up with specialized phone equipment, you are urged to contact the telephone company directly. The US West Communications phone number is 800-582-0655.
I want to report a missing person. What information do I need?
Technically, a missing person is defined as any individual, of any age, who is missing and is under any proven physical or mental disability, or who is missing under circumstances indicating that his/her physical safety is in danger, or under circumstances indicating the disappearance is not voluntary, or after a catastrophe. In the case of minor children: abducted by a non-custodial parent, or lost. Generally, In order to report a missing person, you must appear in person at the police station, complete a detailed description of the missing person, and indicate why you believe the person should be considered missing in the context of the above definition.
I would like to have an officer talk to my neighbors and me about crime prevention. Is that possible?
The Ames Police Department has a Speakers Bureau available to make presentations on a variety of topics to groups. Tours of the Police Department may also be arranged. Call the Chief's Office at 515-239-5130 to arrange for a speaker or tour.
Is my friend in jail at the Ames Police Department?
Persons taken into custody by the Ames Police Department are transported to the Story County Jail in Nevada. If the person is an adult, and we have them in custody, we will tell you that information over the phone. We cannot discuss the details of criminal cases over the telephone, or in person, unless it is with the arrested person's legal counsel. We cannot discuss cases involving juveniles with anyone except their legal guardian or legal counsel. Questions - call 515-239-5133.
Is the Ames Police Department currently hiring?
For information regarding personnel openings with the Ames Police Department, or any other city department, please contact the Human Resources Department, City of Ames, 515 Clark Avenue, Ames, IA 50010, phone 515-239-5199 or visit Human Resources
My neighbors park their cars across the sidewalk of their driveway. Is this legal?
No. Vehicles cannot obstruct or park across sidewalks. In addition, a vehicle cannot be parked in front of a public or private driveway.
People are knocking on my door selling magazines. They are very rude and can't take no for an answer. Is it legal for them to sell door-to-door?
The city of Ames requires transient merchants to be registered with the City Clerk's Office. Call the Communications Center at 515-239-5133 to ascertain if the group knocking on your door has done so. If they are causing problems for you or harassing you, a visit by an Ames police officer may be warranted.
Was my stray pet picked up by an Animal Control Officer?
All questions concerning animal control, both domestic and native animals, should be directed to the Ames Animal Control Shelter. The phone number is 515-239-5530 or Ames Animal Control Division.
We want to have a party, but heard there is a Keg Ordinance in Ames. What should we do?
Unless you obtain a permit from the Ames Police Department, you may only tap one beer keg at a time during your party. To obtain a permit you will have to go through a short briefing with the Police Department's Alcohol Enforcement Team. The purpose of the briefing is to provide you with information relating to your legal obligations when making alcohol available to others, and to help you plan for a successful, socially responsible party. There is no charge for a permit. See Chapter 17.27 of the Ames Municipal Code.
We're going to have a parade down Main Street, do we need a parade permit?
An actual permit is not granted; however, you need to contact the City Traffic Engineer at 515-239-5275 with the details of the parade. Coordination with arranging barricades, police escorts, etc., to ensure the safety of the marchers will be reviewed.
What can I do if someone is parked in my parking space?
If you have an unauthorized vehicle parked in your reserved parking stall, leased parking stall, or simply have a vehicle parked on your private property, commercial or residential, you may call the Police Department 515-239-5133 and request that a parking ticket be issued. If the area is adequately signed, the officer will ask you to co-sign the citation. Then you may choose to have the vehicle towed by a private towing service.
What if I want to contest a parking ticket?
In the event you want to contest a parking ticket, you must first contact the Office of the Chief of Police, 515-239-5130. If you are unable to reach an acceptable agreement there, you may request a trial before the judge by contacting the City Attorney's Office 515-239-5146. Generally a court appearance date is scheduled on traffic citations. This is the time you may plead Not Guilty if you choose, and a trial date will be set. However if you have any questions about your appearance obligations you should contact the Clerk of Court Office 515-239-5140 having jurisdiction over your particular situation.
What is the city's snow ordinance and when does it go into effect?
Chapter 22 of the Municipal Code details the provisions of the snow ordinance. The purpose of this law is to ensure that main arterial streets, Cy-Ride routes, etc. can be cleared of snow in an expedient and efficient manner. All snow routes within the city are marked with signs. When there is significant snowfall, and the city administration deems it necessary, the snow ordinance will be invoked. Local radio and television stations are notified of this development. Cars left parked on designated snow routes are subject to ticketing and towing in order to clear the street for the snowplows. Once the snow stops falling AND the street is completely plowed, you may resume parking on the snow route, as regulated under normal conditions. Any questions regarding the snow ordinance or snow routes should be directed to the city snow desk at 515-239-5543.
What is the location of the Ames Police Department?
The Ames Police Department is located in the Ames City Hall at 515 Clark Avenue, Ames, Iowa 50010. Our non-emergency phone number is 515-239-5133. We are open 24 hours a day, everyday.
What is the phone number for Iowa State University Police Department?
You can contact the Iowa State University Police Department at 515-294-4428. They are open 24 hours-a-day, everyday.
What is the phone number for the Iowa State Patrol?
You can contact the Iowa State Patrol at 515-725-6090. They are open 24 hours-a-day, everyday.
What is the phone number for the Story County Sheriff's Department?
You can contact the Story County Sheriff's Department at 515-382-6566. They are open 24 hours-a-day, everyday.
What is this I hear about a nuisance party ordinance?
Yes, in Ames, if during a social gathering or party, by reason of the conduct of those persons in attendance, it results in any one or more of the following at the site of the party or social gathering, or on neighboring public or private property, then the person(s) in charge of the party or social event can be charged with a nuisance party violation:
unlawful consumption of beer
wine or alcoholic beverages in a public place
outdoor urination or defecation in a public place
unlawful sale, furnishing, dispensing or consumption of beer, wine or alcoholic beverages
underage or unlawful possession of beer, wine, or alcoholic beverages
unlawful deposit of litter or refuse; the damage or destruction of property without the consent of the property owner
unlawful pedestrian or vehicular traffic; standing or parking of vehicles that obstructs the free flow of traffic on the public streets and sidewalks or that impedes the ability to render emergency services
unlawfully loud noise; fighting; or, any other conduct or condition that threatens injury to persons or damage to property is hereby declared to be an unlawful public nuisance
Where can I get information about the city's parking regulations?
You may call the City Attorney's office at 515-239-5146 for help in this matter. If you have a parking problem that needs immediate attention, contact the Police Department at 515-239-5133. Copies of the Municipal Code, Chapter 18, including parking regulations, are available at the Ames Public Library, at most City Hall offices, or see the Legal Department web page for the Chapter 18 of the Ames City Code.
Where can I get information regarding the city of Ames noise ordinance?
You may check out a copy of the Municipal Code at the Ames Public Library, look at a copy at most City Hall offices, or see the Legal Department's web page. The noise ordinance is described in Chapter 17 of the Code. Basically, the noise ordinance limits the amount of noise allowed from any particular source within the city. Motor vehicles as well as private residences are regulated for the protection and peace and quiet of your neighbors. Legal noise limits, measured in decibels, are set for various zoning designations and times of day.
Where can I go to obtain an Iowa Driver's License?
The Iowa Department of Transportation offers applications and testing for new and renewing driver's licenses at the IDOT office located at 3708 W. Lincoln Way, Ames, IA, 50014. The phone number is 515-296-2393. Normal hours of operation: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Where can I pay a city of Ames parking ticket?
There are several options for payment of city parking violations. Drop off boxes are located in several locations within the city. Those locations are listed on the ticket. You can also mail the fine with the ticket to the address shown on the ticket, but please don't send cash through the mail. You may pay the fine in person at the City Finance Department at City Hall, 515 Clark Avenue, Ames, IA 50010. Finally, you may pay tickets on-line at www.amesparking.com. If you have further questions regarding payment, or have lost your copy of the ticket, please contact the Finance Department at 515-239-5283.
Where can I pay a traffic ticket?
Traffic tickets are handled through the Clerk of Court Office. If you simply want to pay the ticket, and an appearance is not required, then you can either mail or bring the appropriate copy of the ticket, plus the fine, to the Clerk of Court Office, 515 Clark Avenue, Ames, IA 50010. If the ticket was issued outside of the Ames area, there should be a corresponding address for the local Clerk of Court Office near the top of the citation. Send the ticket, plus the fine, to that address. The phone number for the Clerk of Court is 515-239-5140.
Where do I get a license for my vehicle?
Motor vehicles are licensed through the county. You need to go to the Story County Courthouse Treasurer's Department, Motor Vehicle Division. Please contact them at 515-382-7330 for further information.
Where is the courtroom?
The Iowa Second Judicial District operates a courtroom in the Ames City Hall Building at 515 Clark Avenue, Ames, IA 50010, and also at the Story County Justice Center in Nevada, IA. Check with the Clerk of Court if you are unsure of where to appear. Each court handles specific types of cases. The courtroom and the Clerk of Court Office in Ames are located on the second floor of the City Hall Building. Call 515-239-5140 for more information.
Who can I call for assistance if my electrical power goes out?
If you live within the city of Ames, call the City Line Department, day or night, weekends or holidays at 515-239-5240.
Who do I call for assistance with natural gas service?
The 24-hour customer service phone number for Alliant Energy is 800-255-4268 or to report an outages 877-740-5050. If you think you may have a gas leak in your home, leave the residence and make the call from a safe place.