From the City Manager's Desk

December 24th, 2018

Rapid Process Improvement 

City Manager Brent Trout, Interim Director of Administrative and Financial Services Nick Hawkins, and Business Services Manager Leigha Boling gave a presentation to the Governing Body at the December 18, 2018 Council Meeting to highlight upcoming cultural changes as city staff begin to manage and operating using Rapid Process Improvement (RPI) practices. Directors, Managers and third level Supervisory staff participated in a series of intense training sessions on RPI. With RPI training, managers can provide assistance and influence the culture throughout the organization. Among city staff, 12 were selected to train as RPI Facilitators, which means they have the education, skills and tools for leading rapid process events. RPI events are used to evaluate processes in order to improve and enhance the work environment through practices of eliminating waste and incorporating innovative methods for reducing cycle time.

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

The cyber-attack against the Utilities payment processing system that compromised onetime credit card payments and customers who enrolled in automatic bill pay from October 31st to December 7th is under investigation by law enforcement. If your credit card has been compromised or if you have received a letter that your information was potentially compromised please contact your bank or credit card issuer. If you are concerned about the exposure of your credit or debit card information, please access to file a complaint. The Internet Crime Complaint Center or IC3 accepts online Internet crime complaints. 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:

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. Finished pouring the concrete ADA ramps at the 29th street intersection on Wednesday.
  • Huntoon/Arvonia.  Opening planned for this Friday - December 21st.  Sod going down this week along with final project walk-through.
  • Central Park.  Sod being installed this week.
  • Storm pipe being installed along SW Fairlawn (25th Street) under failed roadway.  Closed the 25th Street intersection this week.
  • Concrete subcontractor started work on Fairlawn at 29th last week. Placed a small amount of curb and left the site.  Working with the general contractor to address.
  • Working on the alley project near SW 1st and Jackson.

The zoo’s education department is accepting applications for the 2019 Docent Academy.

Do you love animals? Do you enjoy talking with people? Are you looking for a highly rewarding volunteer opportunity where you determine your own schedule?
Docents are volunteer teachers and guides who provide rewarding, hands-on experiences for the public throughout the zoo.  They are ambassadors for the zoo, a voice for endangered species, and a part of the zoo’s ongoing education and conservation efforts.  At the end of their initial training, Docents are uniquely experienced in the various parts of the zoo and become part of an effort to make a difference in the world.
Docents receive extensive training on zoo procedures, zoo departments, and zoo animals.  They play an important role in the education of our community while they provide interpretation throughout the zoo.  Some duties available to Docents are as providing interpretation of our animals at their viewing windows, using any of our many portable Docent Discovery Education Carts with various themes, acting as zoo guides, or helping with the zoos many special events, and more.  If you enjoy animals and talking with people, Topeka Zoo is looking for you!
The next Topeka Zoo Docent Training Academy will be held at Topeka Zoo March 18th -22nd, 2019, 9:00-5:00 each day.
If you are interested in joining the Topeka Zoo Docent Program fill out the online application or download an application to drop by or mail in.

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 

  • There have been 55 broken water mains this month with 862 year to date. Last year at this time there were 405 breaks.
  • Public Works filled 471 potholes; 15,916 since the first of the year using 307 tons of asphalt.
  • The Municipal Court is closed December 24, 25, and January 1. No dockets will be held, but the daily bond determination call will be held as usual.
  • Work has begun on a detention wetland area in Gage Park that will help manage storm water in the park.
  • The Zoo conducted safety drills with the Topeka Fire Department relating to animal escapes and staff injuries.

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, January 8th at 6 p.m.  
  • Safe Streets event at Great Overland station, 01/02/2019
  • The Zoo’s Christmas Tree Recycling Program will run December 26 through January 8.
  • Winter day camps will be held on December 26, 27, 28, 31 and January 2.  More information and ways to register can be found at

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: