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Yes. If you are in possession of the appropriate tools and abilities, an "Owner Builder" permit can be obtained. Owner-Builder permits are issued only to the legal owner of a property.
If a project is to complex or too involved for a homeowner, it would be a good idea to consider a licensed contractor. When hiring a contractor, be sure to obtain at least three separate bids from three different contractors. Also, be sure to ask for and check references.
Permit costs vary depending on the amount and type of work that is proposed. Please contact the Building Division for cost of permits.
Learn how to submit your business license application to the City by visiting our Business Licenses page.
Anyone that conducts business in Ceres City limits.
Gross Receipt based licenses expire annually, but reporting/payment is due on a quarterly basis.
Any business that is being conducted from a home office within City limits must register with the Planning Department for a home occupation permit. Contact 209-538-5774 for more information.
If you have a fixed place of business, the license must be posted in a visible location. If your business is mobile, carry your license with you.
As long as the business information (address, ownership) remains the same, you may reactivate a business license by paying the new license fees and any past due fees and taxes. There must also be a current business license application on file.
Yes. You must submit a completed Declaration of Gross Receipts form to MuniServices for processing.
Completed form must accompany payment of $35 for renewal fee + $1 CASP Fee = Total $36
You may email the completed and signed form to MuniServices or fax to MuniServices at 855-219-4338.
Contact MuniServices toll free at 866-240-3665.
Call the Public Works Department at 209-538-5732 for an inspection of your tree to verify if it is a City tree.
The City currently plants four approved tree species. You can view these tree species on the City’s Master Tree List (PDF).
When your City tree diameter is the same size as the stake diameter the homeowner should remove both stakes and discard. The homeowner is also responsible to keep the City tree watered and fertilized during its growing season.
The City is currently on a reactive pruning schedule, due to budget constraints. If you think your tree is in need of pruning, please call 209-538-5732, and the City will send some out to verify the need and schedule your tree for pruning.
The homeowner should only prune tree branches that he or she can reach from the ground.
Topping of City trees is not allowed. Anyone caught topping a City tree can be fined by the City.
Tree roots in the lawn are caused by lack of adequate moisture for your City tree and are the responsibility of the homeowner. Any tree roots growing under the sidewalk and cracking or elevating the walk can be taken care of by doing a vertical root prune, which the City does provide.
Call Ceres Transit, operated by Storer Transit Systems, at 209-527-4991. They can mail a CAT and Ceres Dial-A-Ride Ride Guide (PDF).
For questions or concerns, please call the Storer Transit Systems Operations Manager at 209-527-4991 or the Ceres Public Works Engineering Department at 209-538-5792, or reach us by email.
You must call 209-538-5792, 24 hours in advance.
No, residents are required to hire a licensed contractor to perform work.
The City of Ceres Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating is a three. The Industrial Fire Protection District is also a three. The Ceres Protection District has an ISO of nine. ISO is currently re-evaluating the ratings for the City of Ceres, the Industrial Fire Protection District, and the Ceres Fire Protection District.
To help establish appropriate fire insurance premiums for residential and commercial properties, insurance companies need reliable, up-to-date information about municipality’s fire protection services. ISO assigns a Public Protection Classification from 1 to 10. Class 1 represents exemplary public protection and Class 10 indicates less than minimum recognized protection. 10% of the overall grading is based on how well the Fire Department receives and dispatches fire alarms. 50% of the overall grading is based on the Fire Department. The final 40% is based on the community’s water supply. For more information, please visit the ISO website.
Ceres Emergency Services does bicycle registrations every Saturday from 9 to noon at Fire Station Number 2. The fee is $2 for a one year registration.
Fire Reports are available at the Administration Office on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., for a fee of $7. For more information, please call 209-538-5701. Note: Emergency Medical Services (EMS) reports are only issued to the involved party mentioned on the report, unless the involved party is a minor. In that case, the report may be issued to the biological parent or legal guardian. All other requests for EMS reports are obliged through a signed release of liability and a subpoena from the requesting party. Subpoena Duces Tecum reports are $15.
You can go to any fire station from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Contact the Regional Fire Training Center (RFTC) at 209-549-7028.
We serve a 15 square mile area with a total population of nearly 50,000.
We have 4 stations.
No. Try opening a can of tuna or cat food and waiting for the cat to get down on its own. Never climb a tree or pole or on top of a roof to “rescue” and animal.
Call Fire Station 1 at 209-538-5702 at least two weeks in advance and speak to the on-duty Captain.
The Fire Department maintains a Street Guide at all fire stations, at the administrative offices, and in emergency vehicles. The guide is updated regularly to include streets in new subdivisions, directions, maps, and address ranges. If you are having trouble locating an address, stop in, call, or send an email, and we’ll be glad to help. Please do not use 9-1-1 to get directions. Call the Administrative Office at 209-538-5701 during regular business hours.
Please call 9-1-1 for any type of fire or medical emergency, or for medical non-emergencies. For other types of calls, call the administrative offices at 209-538-5701 or, if it is not during regular business hours, call the Stanislaus County Communications Center non-emergency line at 209-552-3900. Do not call the fire station, as crews are not always at the station. They may be out doing training or at another emergency.
We are unable to fill patch requests due to the high volume of inquiries.
Ceres has a very rigorous Weed Abatement program that starts in mid-March and usually runs until mid-September and a Community Blight Program that runs year round. If you notice high, dry weeds in your neighborhood, you can contact Ceres Code Enforcement to make a confidential claim at 209-538-5799. The same number can be contacted for Blight issues. If the condition persists, the Fire Department will intervene in the interest of public safety. This intervention would also likely involve other city agencies, including Code Enforcement and the Police Department if necessary. The person responsible would be asked to voluntarily clean up the area. Failure to correct the problem could result in a citation from the city.
No. City ordinance prohibits burning trash within the City limits. If you have questions about the ordinance, please contact the Fire Marshal at 209-538-5703.
Fire permits may be obtained through Stanislaus County by calling 209-552-3700.
The use of open flame in a public assembly requires a permit, candles included, and religious services are considered public assemblies. For a permit, please contact the Fire Marshal at 209-538-5703.
Report these violations to the Fire Marshal at 209-538-5703.
Fire Department units are dispatched according to information received by the 9-1-1 operator. Ceres Emergency Services thinks pessimistically when they respond to citizens in need of help. In other words, the firefighters are prepared to deal with the worst that could happen. They are fast, well-trained and pleasant in their response. The dispatcher selects the closest unit to respond to an incident.
The Fire Department's philosophy is to get our firefighters there as soon as possible. In preparation for the worse case scenario, an ambulance often is dispatched as well. The first unit on the scene may not be an advanced life support unit (a unit with paramedics). Therefore, such a unit also will be responding. There may be two or three fire department vehicles on the scene for what appears to be a "simple" incident. However, in emergency services we have learned that if we assume something is "simple," we can be horribly mistaken. Plus, we respond as fast as we can and prepare to encounter the worst. The winner in these situations will always be the citizen who needs help.
Yes, state vehicle code mandates that while responding Code Three, an emergency response vehicle must have all emergency lights on and the siren sounding. A Code Three response is initiated when life, property or the environment is in immediate jeopardy (ie. bleeding, breathing problems, fire).
Sometimes several units are dispatched to the same incident. The first unit may have arrived on the scene, surveyed the situation and informed the dispatcher that the situation was under control. All other responding units were cancelled and put back into service, ready to take another call. Most likely, when you see an emergency vehicle go "Code 3" (lights and siren) through an intersection and then slow down and turn the emergency lights off, they have been cancelled from the call they were going on.
We respond to more than 4,100 calls per year, with 68% of those calls being medical in nature.
Inform the apartment management of the apparent fire hazard so they can correct the problem. You also can contact the Emergency Services Division at 209-538-5703 to request a fire inspector to review the situation. If the hazard is an immediate threat to life safety (burning trash, leaking gasoline, etc.), dial 9-1-1 for immediate assistance.
There are no regulations mandating the servicing of fire extinguishers placed in single family residences. In apartments and all commercial buildings, fire extinguishers are required to be serviced once a year. To receive service on a residential fire extinguisher, please look under “fire extinguishers” in the Yellow Pages of your phone book for a local business.
The City of Ceres requires the owners/managers of apartment communities to provide working smoke detectors when tenants move in. However it is up to the tenant to ensure the smoke detectors continue to work. Test smoke detectors once a month and replace the battery at least once a year. Make sure smoke detectors are clean at all times.
Generally, a chirping sound means that the battery in your detector needs to be changed. If you would like assistance with a smoke or carbon monoxide detector, please give us a call at 209-538-5701 during business hours. We’d be glad to help if we can.
Call Station 1 at 209-538-5702 and make arrangements to drop it off.
Many people don't realize it but there are a lot of common household items that are considered to be hazardous materials. These include medications, paint, motor oil, antifreeze, auto batteries, lawn care products, pest control products, drain cleaners, pool care products such as chlorine and acids, and household cleaners. Some household cleaners may be harmful separately or when combined such as ammonia and bleach. Call the Household Hazardous Waste Facility Hotline for more information at 209-525-4123. They are located at 1716 Morgan Road in Modesto, CA.
Yes, we respond to requests for “walk-throughs” at businesses and requests for Home Safety Inspections. We also respond to complaints at locations with known or suspected fire hazards.
Call 209-538-5703 to make an appointment with the Fire Marshal.
Your first call should be to the inspector whose name should be on the inspection checklist. However, if you can’t reach that person, you may call Fire Department at 209-538-5703 and speak to the Fire Marshal.
The department's Ride-A-long Program allows citizens to observe the day-to-day operations of the department and accompany firefighters on calls. The ride-along averages about four to eight hours. If the rider is under 18 years of age a Release Form (PDF) signed by a parent or guardian is required. Riders are also subject to a background check and we ask that riders release their driver's license or California identification to the on-duty Captain before the ride is scheduled. Riders are permitted to ride once in a six month period, or at the discretion of the on-duty Captain. Phone the Administration Office at 209-538-5701 for more information and to schedule a ride-along.
Call Fire Station 1 at 209-538-5702 at least one week in advance and speak to the Captain on duty. To assist in scheduling, please have the following information available:
Please contact Captain Mike Miller at 538-5700 ext. 5212 for information.
Captain Sonny Snyder coordinates cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes, he can be reached at 209-538-5700, ext. 5216 for scheduling.
Yes. Permits may be purchased at City Hall (2720 Second Street) for $5.00. No garage or yard sale will be allowed until a permit is granted.
A garage/yard sale permit application will need the following information:
Yes. Please post prominently at the location of the sale.
You may only display a sign at the location of the sale and only on the dates and times stated on the permit.
You can have no more than two (2) sales in a twelve (12) month period. If you would like to hold more than the 2 (two) allowed sales, you can apply for a conditional use permit from the Ceres Planning Commission and pay the appropriate fees.
You may receive a citation and be subject to a fine of up to $550.00.
In the late 1990's the City of Ceres passed an ordinance governing garage/yard sales for all properties in the City of Ceres. The ordinance requires the purchase of a permit for a garage/yard sale. This ordinance is found in Title 5, Chapter 30 of the City of Ceres Municipal Code. This ordinance was enacted in response to complaints about neighbors turning their yards into markets every weekend.
Yes. In fact, we encourage you to do so. You may apply using the CalOpps website. Please apply as soon as you see an opening you are interested in. On some recruitments, a limit is set for how many applications we will accept. You may be unable to apply online once the limit has been met.
Yes. In fact, we encourage you to do so. You may apply using the CalOpps website. Please apply as soon as you see an opening that interests you. On some recruitments, limits are set for how many applications we will accept. You may be unable to apply online once the limit has been reached.
No, we only accept applications and resumes for positions with open/active recruitments.
Yes. You will need to fill out a separate application for each position.
You will be notified approximately two to three weeks after the close of an open recruitment in one of the following ways:
Yes, you can apply for any position you feel qualified for. Because you were not the best fit for a prior position does not mean that you are not the ideal candidate for another position.
Your job offer with the City of Ceres will be conditioned on successfully passing the post-offer drug screen and fingerprint check. You also may be required to undergo a background check, take a post-offer pre-employment medical exam and/or a functional test to determine your physical ability to perform the job's essential duties. A Public Safety or an Emergency Services candidate is also required to undergo a psychological evaluation and for some positions a polygraph test.
If your incident is an emergency, please call 911. I non-emergency, call 209-538-5712 to speak to one of our dispatchers. You can also come into the Police Department and file a report in person.
No. If a crime took place outside of the City of Ceres jurisdiction, please call the Police Department for that City.
Please call the Highway Patrol Office nearest you.
A known suspect is when you or someone else knows the person or where to find the person who committed the crime or if you know the license plate number of the vehicle the suspect (s) were in.
To find requirements to start service, visit our Utility Billing page.
View our Utility Fee Schedule (PDF). For information on multi-family, industrial, commercial, service connections outside of the City limits, and low income rates call the Finance Department at 209-538-5757.
If a customer's service is shut off for nonpayment and the customer tampers with the service by reconnecting it, a tampering charge of $100 is assessed. For each additional occurrence the charge is increased to $200.
Customers are provided a green container for garbage and a blue container for items that can be recycled. The green waste-wheelers are picked up on a weekly basis. The residential blue recycle-toters are picked up bi-weekly. Customers are assigned a pick-up day depending on their location. Commercial Recycling is collected weekly.
Yes, residential loose leaves and limbs are collected every other week. Collection of leaves and limbs occurs on the same day as your recycling day. Please refer to your colored recycling schedule for dates. If you have misplaced your Recycling schedule, contact the Engineering Services Department, at 209-538-5792.
In order for your residential leaves and limbs to be collected, place leaves and limbs (in lengths of 4 feet or less and no larger than 6 inches in diameter) on the street, one foot from the gutter at least one day before your collection day. Do not place leaves and limbs in blue recycling toter.
Yes, by appointment, 209-537-1500. The program is for Ceres residents living in single family homes, duplexes, triplexes, and four-plexes on one piece of property. The program is not for apartment complexes, businesses, industries, schools, churches, or residents living outside of Ceres. The program provides a convenient way to get rid of certain items that cannot fit into waste-wheelers. The program can be used twice each calendar year, and has specific requirements.
View our Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) Fact Sheet (PDF).
The City will confirm the blockage is not in their own main line; however, the homeowner is responsible for any lateral line that runs off the main line to their homes or businesses.
Once the line is clean there are products at your local hardware store that you can put down your sewer lateral to prevent the tree roots from returning.
With homes built within the last 25 years there will be an "S" or "L" stamped on the curb in front of the house. Those will be located within about 1 foot on either side of where the line is located behind the sidewalk.
With homes built within the last 25 years there should be two clean-outs. One should be just behind the sidewalk and one should be next to the house.
The City of Ceres drinking water is 100% groundwater. It is pumped from an aquifer, an underground reservoir of water stored in sandy soil, by our wells.
Yes, the California Department of Public Health, Office of Drinking Water requires the City to monitor the water supply on a weekly basis for disease-causing or pathogenic, bacteriological contamination.
For information on the Web Portal and signing up to monitor your water use call 209-538-5732. Ceres has established a water conservation program and is committed to an ongoing effort to protect our water resources. Customers with even-numbered street addresses are permitted to water lawns on Tuesday and Saturday. Customers with odd-numbered street addresses are permitted to water lawns and landscape on Wednesday and Sunday. No watering is allowed on any day between the hours of 12 noon and 7 p.m. No watering is allowed on Monday, Thursday and Friday.
Yes, we will come to your home and advise you. A large percentage of the time it is from the hot water heater Anode Rods which collect calcium and minerals from the water.
The City staff will come out and determine if it is the City's or the homeowner's responsibility.
Milky looking water is from air in the water. Pour a glass of water and let it set. The water color will clear up if air is present.
The City's responsibility is only up to and including the meter box.
No, that meter and valve is under City staff control. You can call 209-538-5732 during normal office hours and staff will come out at no charge to turn your water off or back on.
The water flows through a system of underground pipes from your house, to under the street where it is combined with water from other households and enters the wastewater collection system. The collection system then conveys the water to the City's Wastewater Reclamation Facility.
You may have a leak in your fixtures or toilets. Note: A dripping faucet or fixture can waste three gallons a day for a total of 1,095 gallons a year.
Make sure your gate valve is fully open. Clean the screens in your faucets. If you still have a problem with low pressure, the City will come out and check it.