From the City Manager's Desk

October 15, 2018

1/2 Cent Sales Tax Renewal 

In the general election in November there will be a ballot item to renew the current 1/2 cent sales tax. 
The 1/2 cent sales tax funds 52% of the forecasted $24 million spent each year on street projects. 
The citywide sales tax program uses about $14 million raised annually through a 0.5 percent retailers’ tax, also known as a sales tax. The funds are used exclusively for costs of maintenance and improvements of existing City of Topeka streets, gutters, curbs, sidewalks, alleys and street lighting.
This interactive website shows several aspects of the 1/2 cent sales tax and pavement management program:
Learn more about street projects, preventative maintenance and investing in Topeka's infrastructure here:
The City Manager’s Office, Public Works and Finance are partnering to present to groups of citizens about the Citywide Half Cent Sales Tax renewal. If a group would like to request a presentation, please contact Molly Hadfield at or (785) 368-0991. 

Road Construction Update

The image on the right is a list of featured road construction projects for 2018. 

Work continuing on:
  •  SW Gage between 21st and 25th. Despite the forecasted rains last week, the street was milled and overlaid late last week. Contractor is placing concrete caps around valves and manholes today. All lanes will be opened within the next two weeks.
  • 21st and Kansas.  Intersection fully opened on Tuesday.
Work was limited on the following projects due to the heavy rains from Monday through Tuesday of last week: 
  • SE Adams between 29th and 33rd.  Setting up for final mainline concrete pour.
  • 29th and Burlingame.  Contractor installing signal pole bases.
  • Mill/overlay project in the area of NW Menninger Rd, NW Sproaton, NW Sanford and NW Walnut.   Base repairs resumed on Thursday.
  •  SW 6th between Fairlawn and Gage.  If it dries enough, plan to form a couple of ADA ramps this week along with general site cleanup. The project is expected to be completed by the first or second week in November, weather dependent.
  • Central Park.  Limited storm and curb work.  Contractor anticipates starting the mill/overlay next week.
  • SW 29th at Fairlawn.
  • SW Fairlawn between 28th and 29th.
  • SW Huntoon at Arvonia.
Street Project Startup and Major Phase Changes:
  • SW 29th – Fairlawn to I-470 will start in October.

Property Maintenance and Habitat for Humanity Video

The Property Maintenance Department and Habitat for Humanity have partnered to do a Facebook video series about code enforcement and how to make easy repairs to your home. 
This month's topic was electrical fixtures. 

DGM Report 

Planning released the September, 2018 Development and Growth Management (DGM) Report which can be found at
Highlights include:
• Total building permits for new construction/remodel are projected to be 4% higher than last year. Compared to 2017, residential permits are projected to increase by 23% while commercial permits would decline 17% by year end.
• 109 new residential units have been permitted for construction year to date within the City of Topeka. 110 total units were permitted in 2017.
• 51% of all new dwelling units within Shawnee County have been built within the City of Topeka year to date compared to 48% for 2017.
• Total building permit values are projected to decrease 31% by year end compared to last year which would be the lowest valuation totals since 2014.

Tiger Cam

The Topeka Zoo now has four new tiger cubs! You can see Jingga the tiger on the Topeka Zoo's tiger camera's as she takes care of her new cubs. 

 Recent Updates 

  • The Topeka Planning Commission will hold their public meeting Monday, October 15 to consider 4 re-zoning cases including an amendment to the Gage Shopping Center PUD to allow for a new gas station/convenience store at 1301 SW Gage Blvd. Staff is recommending approval of all cases. The Planning Commission will make their recommendation to the Governing Body for ultimate approval. The agenda packet can be found at
  • The street division filled 528 potholes. 12,648 potholes have been repaired so far this year. 
  • There have been 40 broken water mains this month with 709 year to date. Last year at this time there were 314 breaks.

Food For Fines

The City of Topeka Municipal Court will start a Food for Fines program during the month of October. Any person with a payment due to the Municipal Court between October 1st and October 31st will receive a $25 credit towards their fine with a donation of ten cans of non-perishable canned goods.
All the non-perishable food items that are collected will be donated to Project Topeka.
The food donations allow for a one-time max credit of $25 for each case. The Food for Fines program only allows for credit in cases with payments being made with the court and not in collections. The program cannot be used for court costs, diversion fees, reinstatement fees, restitution or seat-belt tickets.
Cans must be taken to the Municipal Court Clerk’s office to receive credit. Dented, rusted, non-labeled, or expired food items will not be accepted.
For more information, please call the Municipal Court at (785) 368-3776.

Landlord Expo 

The City of Topeka is proud to host our 1st Landlord Expo. The 2018 Topeka Landlord Expo is the most informative landlord event of its kind in the Midwest potentially attracting over 1,000 potential visitors. It will provide an excellent platform for property investors to seek the advice, guidance and tools necessary to succeed in the development and management of their rental property businesses.
Our purpose is simple. We want to provide landlords with the advice, tools and knowledge needed to be successful, and we want tenants to have decent, safe and affordable homes in safe neighborhoods.
The Expo is the perfect partner whether you are a first time or accidental landlord, an agent, property investor, managing an existing portfolio, or considering entering the private rental market. The key features of the Expo include over 80 exhibitors ranging from suppliers to professional advisers and local authorities and an action packed timetable of FREE workshops.
For more information call the Neighborhood Relations Department at (785) 368-4470

Neglected Building Registration Survey 

Below is a link to a brief survey regarding the proposed neglected building registration. We would appreciate your assistance getting the word out so we can get as much public input back on the proposed program as possible.


The E-Cycle event for recycling electronics will take place on Saturday, October 20th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Bring your used, unused, working or not working electronics for free recycling. 
CRT Monitors will cost $15 to recycle if they are 19" or smaller. 
CRT TVs will cost $30 if they are 20" or larger. 

Coming up

  • City Council Meeting, October 23rd at 6 p.m.  
  • Coffee on Your Corner 10/17 “Municipal Court” @ McDonalds 3117 S. Topeka Blvd
  • E-Cycle, October 20th at the Expo Centre
  • 2018 Topeka Landlord Expo, Saturday, October 27th, 9AM-3PM
  • Topeka Fire Department is will be hosting its annual Open House and Fallen Firefighter Memorial on October 13th between 1:00 and 4:00 at the Fire Department Headquarters.
  • Neighborhood Relations Citizen’s Advisory Council 1st Annual Neighborhood Celebration, Oct 27th, 11AM-6PM

Brent Trout 

This weekly report is presented to you from the office of City Manager Brent Trout.
This report was produced through our open data portal. We have several other open data portals to help connect you with the work we do, including portals that let you: