From the City Manager's Desk

November 12th, 2018

Battle of the Badges 

Topeka fire fighters participated and won the annual Battle of the Badges between the Police Department, Sheriff Department, Kansas Highway Patrol in an effort to raise funds for the Special Olympics. Proceeds for this year’s event exceeded $18,000.

Historic Window Restoration Workshop 

The City of Topeka hosted a Historic Window Restoration Workshop with Bob Yapp. Eighteen participants did hands on work to historic windows by restoring, weather proofing and making the windows more energy efficient. 
The City of Topeka is working to provide unique opportunities for home and business owners. The Planning Department has a list of people who participated in the workshop who will help others in the community restore their own historic windows. 
You can find more information about the Historic Window Restoration Workshop here:

Fire Marshal Mike Martin Recognized by the American Red Cross

Fire Marshal Mike G. Martin awarded a Red Cross Hero's Gift of Life Award for his efforts in initiating the Topeka Battle of the Badges Blood Drive along with local Law Enforcement and the American Red Cross.
Check out this video from the most recent Battle of the Badges which features Fire Marshal Martin: 

Road Construction Update

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

Work continuing on:
  • SW 29th and Burlingame. Small amount of mill/overlay was scheduled this week. Lanes will be shifted to allow for signal installation once poles/mast arms are received.
  • SW 6th from Fairlawn to Gage. Road opened to traffic on Thursday! Still need to complete sod installation and there are some minor punch list items to correct.
  • Mill/overlay project in the Grantville Road area. With forecasted rain, snow and very cold temperatures, asphalt work is limited until temps rise. Should still complete this year. Some overlay work took place earlier this week.
  • Huntoon/Arvonia. The plan was to place asphalt on Friday. With forecasted rain, snow and very cold temperatures, asphalt work is limited until temps rise. Should still complete this year.
  • Central Park.  Still some ADA ramps and previous utility patches left to complete. With forecasted rain, snow and very cold temperatures, asphalt work is limited until temps rise. Should still complete this year.

 Recent Updates 

  • The Street Department Equipment Maintenance Shop plans to start calibration testing of the snow equipment on November 16. 95% of the snow equipment repairs have been completed.
  • There have been 11 broken water mains this month with 768 year to date. Last year at this time there were 346 breaks.
  • The Street Division used 279 tons of hot mixed asphalt on full depth patches (264 tons) and potholes (4 tons).
  • Topeka Fire Department Training Division staff participated in a live burn operation with the recruits and several TFD companies at the Training tower.

Veteran's Day 

Happy Veteran's Day to everyone who has served our country in the Armed Forces which includes several City of Topeka staff members. 

Topeka Garlinghouse's

The City of Topeka, Kansas is requesting funding through a Historic Preservation Fund grant to research and compose a Multiple Property Documentation Form (MPDF) for homes originating from the business of Lewis F. Garlinghouse. The L. F. Garlinghouse Company was founded in 1910 in the City of Topeka, Kansas, and since that time has served as one of the nation’s premier catalogue providers of home plans and designs.
Since its inception as a business in Topeka, numerous examples of the work of the L.F. Garlinghouse Company can be found within the City of Topeka and throughout the nation. The purpose of this project is to provide a thematic context for evaluating and listing Garlinghouse homes constructed in the City of Topeka during the years from 1910 through 1960.
City-wide, it has been estimated that by 1925 the Garlinghouse Company had sold or constructed in excess of 550 homes in the City of Topeka. Two Garlinghouse homes will be nominated to the National Register under the new MPDF as a part of this project. This MPDF will also provide City Staff and the general public with the resources necessary to pursue subsequent individual nominations based on the foundation of contextual significance of the L.F. Garlinghouse Company in the City of Topeka.
The City of Topeka will seek input from the public during a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5 in Marvin Auditorium at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 S.W. 10th.

Finance 3rd Quarter Report

The 3rd quarter financial report will be presented to the Governing Body on November 13th. View the full financial report at

Planning 3rd Quarter Report 

Planning released the October, 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 22% while commercial permits would decline 14% by year end.
• 4 new residential units were permitted this month. 113 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 total since 2014.
• The top 5 valued permits issued last month include:
o Bishop Professional Development Center, 3601 SW 31st St ($1.2M)
o Hoyts Trailer, 2613 NW Cat Ct ($1.0M)
o Stormont Vail Health Cancer Center, 1414 SW 8th St ($1.0M)
o St. Francis MRI Room – 1700 SW 7th St ($900k)
o Crosby Place (Greater Topeka Partnership) – 725 S. Kansas ($712k)

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.

Coming up

  • City Council Meeting, November 13th at 6 p.m.  
  • Encore “Common Unity” Pitch, Los Angeles, CA, November 12th – November 15th
  • TPD Coffee at the Museum event, 11/14/2018
  • The Zoo and Friends of the Zoo are getting ready for Giving ZooDay on Tuesday, November 27th. This year’s campaign will center on supporting some of the baby animals born this year.

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: