From the City Manager's Desk

December 3rd, 2018

GovEx Data and Analytics Training 

Several city staff attended training for Strategies for Managing Bias in Decision Making and Problem Solving Using Data & Analytics. The training was hosted by the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, and took place in Topeka. Local government staff from across the region participated in this training as well.

Water Bill inserts 

Starting December first, the inserts in the city's water bills will include information on 2019 water rates. 
Also included in the water bill will be an insert called ease the freeze. This insert includes helpful information on how to prevent your pipes from freezing this winter. Frozen pipes can cause property damage that can be widespread and expensive. 
To ease the freeze this winter please be sure to eliminate drafts in your home, expose water pipes to warm air, and let your water run in a fast drip. 
If your pipes do burst shut off water at the master valve. IF water is leaking into the house and you cannot locate your master valve, please call the call center at (785) 368-3111, and a field representative will come out and turn the service off at the meter box. 

Common Unity 

Although the City of Topeka didn’t take home the big $50,000 prize, we are still incredibly proud & honored to be a finalist for the Encore Prize with the Common Unity program. The City of Topeka is excited to bring home $10,000 to start the Common Unity Program.
The Common Unity Program will help senior students at Highland Park High School to prepare for their life after high school. Students will be mentored by community members over the age of fifty, who will help them with college prep and other life skills like budgeting. 
Congrats to the Fostering Hope Foundation for winning the $50,000 judges prize and Read To Me International for winning the $10,000 audience pitch prize!
You can watch the five finalists who pitched their projects here

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. Signals installed and turning movements open. Finishing the northwest corner wall/sidewalk.
  • SW 29th and SE Adams.  Road is open.  Waiting on signal poles to be delivered so work at 29th can be completed.
  • Huntoon/Arvonia.  Asphalt work complete and signal poles installed.  Sidewalk work left prior to road opening.
  • Central Park.  Asphalt work complete. Several ADA ramps left to complete.
  • Alley work continuing in the 1400 Block just east of KS Avenue.
  • Clarion Woods – winterizing project.
  • Started moving traffic control for the SW Fairlawn (25th Street) road repair on Wednesday.  Pavement removal should start by the end of this week.
  • Started an alley project on Wednesday near 1st and Jackson.

 Recent Updates 

  • November 25th Snow Event – It took 1005 labor hours to push snow and apply 786 tons of ice melt and 26 tons of sand. Seventy-nine pieces of equipment were used for a total of 721.25 hours.
  • There have been 45 broken water mains this month with 800 year to date. Last year at this time there were 370 breaks.
  • The Public Works department crack sealed 3600 feet and regraded 4000 feet of alley.

TFD Recruit Graduation 

The Topeka Fire Department graduated 5 new recruits from its 10 week training academy on November 15, 2018.  The new recruits were assigned their 24 hour shifts beginning on November 17, 2018.
Welcome new graduates: Brendy Muninger, Edward Whelan, Jacob Coufal, Heath Morrison and Rogelio Alegria.

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.

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.

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, December 4th at 6 p.m.  
  • The Zoo will hold a public meeting on December 3rd at noon on the zoo’s drainage project. The meeting will take place in the Gary Clarke classroom.

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: