From the City Manager's Desk

December 11, 2017

City Manager Trout asks for help in search for next TPD Chief

City Manager Brent Trout is asking for the public's input on what qualities they want to see in the next Topeka Police Chief. 
A website and email has been set up to allow for public comment. You can watch a short video from City Manager Trout and send in your thoughts on the next Police Chief. 
You can find all the information about the next Topeka Police Chief search here:

Shannon the Elephant passes away 

A battle that started on Sunday ended on Monday morning for Shannon, a 35 year old African elephant at the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center. Around the 11:00 hour under the care of zoo staff and emergency responders, Shannon appeared to experience a seizure and died immediately after.
After being found in a situation the day before where she had gone down and was unable to stand up.  Heroic efforts that day had gotten Shannon back up on her feet.  During a night check, she appeared to be back to normal.  By morning, she was back on her side unable to stand again.
Approximately 20 minutes after Shannon passed, her other herd members were allowed in with Shannon to help with their mourning process.
Zoo veterinary staff will begin a necropsy sometime this afternoon to determine the actual cause of death.  Depending on the time it takes to get back histopathology reports, it may be two to three weeks before the cause of death is known.  Through its social media, the zoo will continue to release information as it becomes available.
To all that helped in the fight to save Shannon and to all of the well-wishers, the zoo expresses its deepest gratitude.

 Recent Updates 

  • Contractor removed and replaced a section of concrete at the SE corner of the 10th/Wanamaker intersection last week. Once this section reaches strength, the plan is to winterize the project and open all lanes to traffic.
  • Topeka Fire Department Training Division staff continue KU Emerging Leaders Academy course.
  • The Finance Department continues to focus on year end processing including finalizing contract and procurement projects; making any necessary 2018 payroll changes; and implementing any planned budgetary changes.
  • 25th Street between Fairlawn and I-470 was milled and overlaid last week and opened to traffic on Friday afternoon.

TARC Holiday Party 

Engine 5 and Aerial 5 B shift assisted Santa Claus (Apparatus Operator Shawn Frank) with the annual TARC Holiday Party.

Utilities Public Meeting 

The Utilities Department held a public meeting on Saturday, December 8th to discuss water rates. 
The meeting will be to discuss the condition of the utility infrastructure and the need for utility rate increases. The infrastructure is aging and needs upgrades in order to provide the best level of service to the citizens of Topeka. We would like community input on utility assets and to discuss the needs of our water infrastructure.
The city is requesting a 6% increase for 2018 a 5% increase for 2019 and a 5% increase for 2020 for water rates. Fees were last increased in 2015. For the average resident using five thousand gallons a month the total fee increase would be $4.10 cents a month for the combined total increase in water, wastewater and storm water usage. Most of the fee increase will go towards upgrading infrastructure.

Coming up

• If temperatures are below freezing, the crew will be treating all City of Topeka bridges and prepare the Lakewood Yard, located on the north side of 21st St. between S. Kansas Ave. and SE Adams, for snow storage.
• Finance will lead a discussion on year end spending at the December 12th Council meeting. This discussion is in compliance with the Reserve Policy established in November 2016.
• The zoo is anticipating the birth of a Hoffmann’s Two-toed Sloth any day.


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: