From the Interim City Manager's Desk

October 6, 2017

Mayor Wolgast Honored 

On October 5th Mayor Wolgast was surprised at the Topeka Zoo with the butterfly garden being dedicated in his name. The event had people from all over Topeka release dozens of butterflies into the garden. 
This event recognized the Mayor and his work with making Topeka a butterfly friendly city. He decided that the zoo would be a perfect place to plant milkweed plants to attract the butterflies that migrate through Topeka. 
A formal dedication of the butterfly garden will happen later this year. 

 Recent Updates 

  • Neighborhood Relations has been focusing on our housing cases and inspectors have completed 2153 housing cases since the start of the year. Last year we did 1600.
  • Worked with a contractor to splice fiber optic cable for the traffic signal, traffic responsive system and surveillance camera at 21st and Wanamaker.
  • TPD OFC Bulmer honored by National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington DC as one of the "2017 Heroes" for child rescue from pond occurrence.
  • Training Division staff worked on developing a master naming convention for training that all Shawnee County Fire Departments will use going forward.
  • Zoo has conducted onsite training with the Topeka Fire Department this week to help with emergency preparedness.

Grants for Bikeways, Safe Routes to School and Topeka River Weir

The City of Topeka received three grants at the beginning of October to help make streets safer for children and cyclists and to also improve the Topeka river. 
o The City of Topeka received two grants in October. The Planning department received $803,820 to fund the Bikeways Phase 3 project which would create an innovative design on 8th avenue and several other Bikeways Phase 3 projects in the Bikeways Master Plan.
o   $280,000 was obtained to complete a Phase 2 Safe Routes to School program for Quincy Elementary. This project will ensure that complete streets are available for students and families to walk and or bike to school. It will also promote pedestrian and bicycle safety programs, and educate parents and students about leading healthy lifestyles.
o   Utilities received official notice that the City of Topeka, obtained $300,000 from the Department of Kansas Wildlife Parks and Tourism to fund the Topeka River Weir Project for creating a fish ladder. This is a part of a larger project that will make necessary repairs to the weir.

TFD Elephant Down Training at the Zoo 

The Topeka Fire Department partnered with the Topeka Zoo this week to conduct onsite emergency preparedness training. 
The "Elephant Down" training was a cooperative effort with the Emergency Equine Response Unit and ASAR. Crane operators and zoo staff worked with large animal rescue specialist Eric Thompson to learn how to help elephants or other large animals in case of an emergency. 
This is the 3rd round of a training collaboration with the Fire Department and the zoo with one more scheduled in the spring. 

Coming up

• October 7th-Recruiting booth set up at LULAC sponsored-Education of Tomorrow College Fair.
• October 7th- Citizens Academy has their "fun" day with exposure to a K9 Demo, MILO and car stop training.
• October 14th- Topeka Fire Department Memorial and Open House at the TFD academy.
• October 14th- E-cycle event. Recycle your old electronic items at the Kansas Expocentre.
• October 15th- Battle of Badges--Charity Football game between TPD & TFD for Special Olympics.
• October 21st- Refuel Topeka After-school Meal Skating Event Kick off 5-7 PM Starlite Skate. 


Doug Gerber

This weekly report is presented to you from the office of Interim City Manager Doug Gerber.
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: