From the City Manager's Desk

December 10th, 2018

City of Topeka potential victim of cyber-attack on Utility billing payment system 

On the afternoon of December 7th, the City of Topeka was notified by our Utility Billing Payment System software vendor Central Square that the City of Topeka has been a potential victim cyber-attack. This potential data breach has not been confirmed at this time. Central Square has turned over their information to a forensics investigator to confirm the potential breach of the City of Topeka Utility Billing Payment System. On Saturday, December 8th the City of Topeka Information Technology team went through the data breach system and did not see any malicious activity. As a potential victim of a cyber-attack, the City of Topeka wants to keep our costumers information safe and city Information Technology staff worked with the software vendor on December 7th to transition the current online Utility Billing Payment System to a more secure platform as advised by the software vendor. Local law enforcement and the FBI have been notified of the potential breach.
The City of Topeka is working with very limited information at this time regarding the potential cyber-attack. The data breach occurred between October 31st and December 7th. The data breach would affect any City of Topeka Utilities customer who made a one-time payment or set up autopay during this time. E-checks and customers who set up autopay before October 31st will not be affected. While this potential compromise has not been confirmed by a qualified forensic investigator yet, the City is strongly recommending, as a precautionary measure, customers who make credit card or debit card transactions using the online Utility Billing Payment System between October 31st and December 7th to contact their credit card issuer for advice related to the potential exposure of their credit card information.
As the potential victim of a cyber-attack, the City of Topeka has identified that up to 10,000 customers have been potentially impacted by the data breach. City of Topeka Utilities Department will be sending a letter to customers whose information has potentially been impacted.
Information on the potential breach will be on the City of Topeka website front page and updated as information becomes available. You can find more information on how to respond to a data breach at:

FORGE Topeka Flag Project 

The Forge Flag Initiative was born out of a collaboration between local young professionals, Topeka’s City Council and several other local organizations excited about the Momentum happening in Topeka. The project will develop a new flag for the City of Topeka through a collaborative community effort.
Forge, after presenting to City Council, took the lead on the project and opened it to the public through several mediums, including local and social media, inviting everyone to an open meeting to discuss and set parameters for the process which eventually resulted in over 260 design submissions. Of those, local marketing and design professionals narrowed it down to four final designs that will be open to feedback.
The four designs were presented earlier this week and the project is currently accepting feedback and suggestions from the public to create a final flag design to include aspects of each of the four finalists.
To assist in making this “no one’s flag so it is everyone’s flag”, provide your feedback here:
Please see below for further information.
Q: How did this process begin?
A: Forge, the local young professionals group wanted to create a new city flag to better capture the city’s history, momentum, and spirit through a collaborative community effort.
Q: How much did this project cost?
A: Between the finalists’ awards and marketing the project, the total amount is under $5,000.
Q: Who is paying for it?
A: Frederico Consulting, Inc. generously provided funds to award each of the four finalists with $875. Forge covered the rest of the costs to market the project.
Q: Is the City of Topeka paying for this initiative?
A: No.
Q: Is the City of Topeka involved in this initiative?
A: The Mayor has offered her support in the creation of a new flag, and city council will eventually vote on the final design, but the project was created and the process decided on by Forge.
Q: Who was on the selection committee?
A: A diverse group of local, young professionals with expertise in the fields of marketing and design.
Q: Who will design the final flag?
A: After public comment closes on January 15th, a group of local, professional designers will review all the feedback provided to create a final flag design based off aspects of the four finalists and the feedback received.
Q: What happens after the final flag is designed?
A: The final design will be presented to City Council for a vote as to whether or not to adopt the final design as the City of Topeka’s official flag.
Q: Will this change the city seal?
A: No. The seal will remain the same.
Q: How can I offer feedback or suggestions?
Forge wants this to project to be a collaborative community effort and though it is impossible to satisfy everyone’s opinion, the goal is to be as inclusive as possible. Thank you to the Topeka community for ensuring the new flag is representative of our city and something we can all take pride in!

Road Construction Update

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

Work continuing on:
  • SW 29th and SE Adams. Signal poles installed. Will be removing old (existing poles) and starting work on ADA ramps at the intersection.
  • SW 29th and Burlingame. Will be removing form work on the NW corner retaining wall and installing sod next week if weather warms. Plan is to open all lanes of traffic by December 14th.
  • Huntoon/Arvonia. Sidewalk work left prior to road opening.  Plan is to open to traffic by December 14th if weather cooperates.
  • Central Park.  Several ADA ramps left to complete – planning to complete this week. Sod to be installed next week if weather warms.
  • Alley work continuing in the 1400 Block just east of S. Kansas Avenue.
  • Started pavement removal for the SW Fairlawn (25th Street) road repair on Monday. Running into issues with previous sand backfill. Depending on limits of the sand backfill, additional short duration lane closures may be needed.
  • Working on the alley project near SW 1st and Jackson.

Kelly Baker accepted to Leadership Topeka 

Congratulations to Kelly Baker for being selected to the Leadership Greater Topeka class of 2019! Kelly will represent the City of Topeka and be joined by 35 other area leaders to participate in an 8 week leadership course hosted by the Greater Topeka Partnership. 

Safe Streets Holiday Safety Tips

We want you to have the best holiday possible! This time of year, there are more people out and about and there are more activities and events. With this comes more opportunities for crime. Check out these tips from our partners at Safe Streets Coalition on things you can do to keep your family, home and packages safe this year.

 Recent Updates 

  • The City of Topeka website has a new look. You can check it out here: 
  • There have been 13 broken water mains this month with 820 year to date. Last year at this time there were 380 breaks.
  • City Manager Trout, Deputy City Manager Gerber and Department Directors attended the Rapid Improvement Process training at the LEC.

Snow and Ice Removal Plan 

Winter weather is here. Check out the city's snow and ice removal plan
You can also see a map of all the streets in Topeka to see if they have been treated. 
Priority 1:
Primary Streets: Arterial Streets and Emergency Snow routes
Service Level – Plowing will typically begin with 2” of snow accumulation. Complete snow and ice control within 24 hours of snowfall ending.
Priority 2:
Secondary Streets: Collector Streets
Service Level – Plowing will typically begin with 4” of snow accumulation. Complete snow and ice control within 24 hours after Priority 1 completion.
Priority 3:
Residential Streets: Local Streets
Service Level – Plowing will typically begin with 6” of snow accumulation to ensure that they are passable to emergency services and general public as necessary upon completion of Priorities 1 through 2.

Coming up

  • City Council Meeting, December 11th at 6 p.m.  
  • Housing Services is providing Lead-Based Paint – Renovate, Repair and Paint Certification on December 18th in the Holliday Conference Room. This training will be free to contractors with a maximum of 25 people getting certified.

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: