From the City Manager's Desk

March 26, 2018

Opportunity Zones

The City of Topeka is pleased to share some news with you about the City of Topeka’s involvement in the Opportunity Zones process with the Department of Commerce and Governor Colyer. The Department of Commerce informed the City of Topeka that out of the 190 census tracts submitted for consideration across the state, they selected 74 total for nomination, and 3 of those nominated will be located in Topeka. The top three census tracts we prioritized in our letter will be nominated by Governor Colyer. For more information, visit

Water Pollution Control Monarch Way-stations 

Water Pollution Control installed two Monarch Way-station signs at the Jackson Street Bio-retention Planters. The bio-retention planters run from 5th to 8th Street and provide milkweeds, nectar sources and shelter needed to sustain monarch butterflies as they migrate through North America. 
You can watch a Facebook Live video here for more information:

Budget Priorities Survey 

The Budget office is requesting input on priorities for the 2019 Budget. Take the budget priorities survey at to make your voice heard! The survey will be open for the next few months leading up to Council discussions on March 20th, April 3rd and 24th.

Topeka Fire Department Loses K-9 Webster to Sudden Illness 

The Topeka Fire Department is sad to announce the loss of the departments Accelerant Detection K-9, Webster, to a sudden illness. On Wednesday morning Webster was found suffering from an unknown illness and was taken to his local veterinarian for treatment. Webster was transferred to Kansas State University Animal Hospital where he died at approximately 1p.m.
Webster began his service with the Topeka Fire Department in 2014 and was certified by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Department of Justice as an Accelerant Detection K-9.  Webster responded throughout the City of Topeka and the State of Kansas to assist investigators in the detection of ignitable liquids at fire scenes.  He participated in many local events to promote the fire department and educate the public in fire safety.
Webster was a valued member of the Topeka Fire Department and will be missed. 

 Recent Updates 

  • The Topeka Fire Department Training Division staff supported the State Capitol Area Firefighters Fire School held here in Topeka. Over 380 students attended the school including 17 Topeka Fire Department employees.
  • The Utilities Department Bi-annual Channel inspection is ongoing this week. Water Pollution Control completes a list of channels to inspect for blockages, illegal dumping, erosion around structures and pipes, and fallen trees that need to be removed. This is done in the late fall and also early spring.
  • The Water Pollution Control Laboratory passed their WatR Pollution Proficiency Testing (WP-276) and was recognized as a Laboratory of Excellence for achieving 100% acceptable data in the blind study.

Equipment Rodeo Winners

The Utilities Department had several employees win the Equipment Rodeo. These employees are the best of the best at operating machinery. This week they went on a trip where they got to use heavy machinery and test out cutting edge equipment like remote controlled machines. 

Transparency in Government Survey

Please take the time to fill out this survey relating to data portals created by the City of Topeka to increase transparency in local government.  The answers provided through this survey do not rate or test your abilities as a user.  The purpose of this survey is to test the level of usability (e.g., ease of navigation, clarity, etc.) and the quality of content that is currently provided on the City of Topeka open data portals.  Please understand that the more information we collect, the better and more user-friendly we can make all of these products.  All responses will be reported in the aggregate and will be confidential.

The Utilities Department is a St. Patrick's Day Parade Float Winner!

The City of Topeka Utilities Department participated in the Topeka St. Patrick's Day parade where they won the award for Most Whimsical Award. The float was a balloon rainbow going to the golden toilet (pot of gold). 

Coming up

  • City Council Meeting on April 3rd. 
  • The Policy and Finance Committee will host a meeting on March 29th from 1-3 p.m. to gather feedback on the proposed Tax Increment Finance (TIF) policy. View the policy and meeting details at
  • The Topeka Police Department will be doing a Safe Church presentation on April 3rd. 


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: