- Joint Planning Commission
The Joint Planning Commission of Ellis County shall consist of six at-large members and one member representing the City of Schoenchen as required by County Commission Resolution No. 2005-15, Resolution No. 2010-23 and Resolution 2015-18. The Joint Planning Commission of Ellis County has the statutory authority to hear and determine appeals, exceptions, and variances of these zoning regulations.
Ellis County Council on Aging
The Ellis County Council on Aging is responsible for reviewing grant requests from the Senior Centers in Hays, Victoria, and Ellis; the Senior Companion Program; the Foster Grandparent Program; and the Northwest Kansas Area on Aging. The Council consists of six members who meet once a year in May or June to review the requests, make recommendations for each program, and present the requests to the Ellis County Commissioners.
- CARE Council
The CARE Council is responsible for reviewing any agency requesting monies from the City's Local Agency Funding budget, the Social Services budget, and the City and County's Alcohol Tax budget. The CARE Council is also responsible for distribution of United Way funding. The council will develop recommendations for funding of agencies, which will be presented to the United Way Board of Directors, the City Commissioners, and the County Commissioners in May of each year. It is each entity's responsibility to take action upon the recommendations submitted to it by the CARE Council.
The CARE Council, a partnership between the City of Hays, Ellis County and the United Way of Ellis County is comprised of twelve voting members. Appointments are made by the United Way Board of Directors, the City Commissioners, and the County Commissioners.
Interested individuals must be able to volunteer approximately 20 total hours during April and May and attend meetings in late afternoon. Volunteers should be familiar with the Ellis County community, be able to read financial statements, and have a desire to enhance the community by effective use of donated and tax funds.
- Local Emergency Planning Committee
The Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) works to understand the hazards in the community, develops emergency plans in case of an accidental release or natural disaster, and looks for ways to prevent accidents. The role of the LEPC is to form a partnership between local governments and industries to enhance all-hazards preparedness.
Wellhead Protection Committee
The purpose of the Ellis County Wellhead Protection Committee is to advise governmental bodies in Ellis County, Kansas, on wellhead protection issues, to promote protection of water resources in Ellis County through education, and to develop and maintain the Ellis County Wellhead Protection Plan.
The committee shall have up to eleven voting members. Members should include representatives from the City of Hays, the City of Ellis, the City of Victoria, the City of Schoenchen, Ellis County, the Ellis County Conservation District, the Rural Water District, Fort Hays State University, Fort Hays State University Department of Geosciences, Business Community and a County at-large member.
High Plains Mental Health Board
High Plains was created in 1964, through action taken by the joint efforts of the County Commissions in Ellis, Rooks, Phillips and Norton counties. Kansas law gave local government the authority to create single or multiple county mental health centers. Spearheading the push was a citizen's task force that researched and advocated the need for local mental health services.
High Plains was developed as a "Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center" and became eligible for federal funding under the Community Mental Health Center Act of 1963. The geographical area boundary lines were drawn in compliance with federal requirements of a minimum population density equaling 150,000 people. Therefore, the initial plan was to serve the 18 counties of northwest Kansas. Over the next few years, a total of 20 counties joined the effort. Rush and Ness Counties preferred to be included in the Northwest Kansas plan and chose to join.
The 20 counties now comprising the regional service area are Cheyenne, Decatur, Ellis, Gove, Graham, Logan, Ness, Norton, Osborne, Phillips, Rawlins, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Thomas, Trego and Wallace. Governance authority over the operations of High Plains is vested in citizens appointed by their respective County Commissions to serve on a Governing Board.
In addition to the home-base services in Hays, there are five full-time Branch Offices located in Colby, Goodland, Norton, Osborne and Phillipsburg. There are six weekly office sites located in Atwood, Hoxie, Oberlin, Quinter, Russell and Smith Center.
High Plains is now one of 28 community mental health centers licensed through the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. It is the largest rural center in the state.
Over the years, High Plains and its service programs have received numerous state and national awards of distinction for excellence.
The Ellis County Commission appoints up to three positions on the High Plains Mental Health Board.
Ellis County Historical Society
The Ellis County Historical Society is the policy setting body for the Historical Society. Members are elected by the citizens of Ellis County and consist of four officers and ten trustees, one of which is appointed by the Ellis County Commissioners.
Rural Fire Advisory Board
The Rural Fire Advisory Board shall consist of ten members. Ellis County shall be divided into nine equal areas with one member being elected from each area that has a station, an additional member from the Munjor Company and remaining members to be selected by the Advisory Board. The term of office shall be for three years subject to annual approval by the Board of County Commissioners.
The Advisory Board shall meet once and month. Each member of the Advisory Board shall attend not less than seven meetings per year or miss not more than three consecutive meetings and shall make every effort to advance the interests of the Ellis County Rural Fire Department.
The duties of the Advisory Board shall consist of but not be limited to the following: 1) Review the annual budget and make recommendations to the County Commission prior to its approval, 2) Approve expenditures over a $1,000 in non-emergency situations, 3) Review Rural Fire Director applications and select Advisory Board representatives to participate in the interview process, 4) Review monthly vouchers, 5) Recommend county response boundaries, and 6) Cooperate with the Rural Fire Director in adopting and annually reviewing a policy procedures manual.
- Volunteer Firefighter
Ellis County Fire District operates with one full-time employee and many volunteer firefighters, who are each assigned to one of our eight fire house locations throughout the County. Dedication to being a volunteer firefighter is a vital service to the safety of residents throughout Ellis County. Ellis County has done well in maintaining a roster of nearly 90 volunteer firefighters, but due to retirements and resignations, we are always looking for persons interested in serving their county as a volunteer firefighter. Volunteer firefighters are asked to donate considerable time training to insure they respond to emergencies and are as safe as can be expected when doing so. The camaraderie experienced by firefighters and others in public safety is something people must experience to understand. If you are interested in service as a volunteer firefighter for Ellis County, please complete and submit a Citizen Interest Form. A more extensive application will then need to be completed.