From the City Manager's Desk

January 22nd, 2019

Point-In-Time Homeless Count 

Homelessness in Kansas and across the country is on the rise. In the past year, the Topeka Rescue Mission has seen record numbers of guests in the shelter with the biggest increase being in persons with mental health challenges. Kansas schools have also seen large increases in homeless children and youth.
It is important for the City of Topeka to obtain the appropriate level of funding so that we can provide needed services to those experiencing homelessness and those at risk for homelessness. To receive funding for programs, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires communities to complete a point-in-time count of the homeless every year.
This year’s Point-In-Time Count will be held on Wednesday, January 23 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“Topeka is committed to helping the homeless in our community. The point in time homeless count is the first important step to see where the most need is,” said Corrie Wright, Division Director of Housing Services for the City of Topeka.  The information gathered will help Topeka to:
• Understand the face of homelessness within the community;
• Make sure services are meeting the needs of homeless persons;
• Raise public awareness about the issues surrounding homelessness; and
• Measure community progress towards preventing and ending homelessness.
Help us make sure that everyone is counted! 
Persons who are experiencing homelessness or know someone who is, please call 785-368-0168 between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. on January 23rd, or drop by the Rescue Mission or Let’s Help and complete a survey that day. Interviewers will also be available at the City Offices – Holliday Building. 620 SE Madison, Holliday Conference Room from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on January 23th. 

Fire Station #6 to unveil public art  

 City of Topeka Fire Station #6 is the second oldest fire station in Topeka, built in 1935, and is an integral part of the Oakland neighborhood. When the road around Fire Station #6 was redone the fire hydrant was put out of commission and replaced. The Firefighters at station #6 saw an opportunity re-purpose the decommissioned fire hydrant and turn it into public art to honor the Oakland neighborhood. The Firefighter union donated funds to sandblast and prime the fire hydrant and local artist Andy Valdivia painted the hydrant to reflect the rich cultural heritage in Oakland. The fire hydrant is painted to show the Hispanic and German cultures in the neighborhood along with the historic fire station building.
“The firefighters who work in Station #6 love the Oakland neighborhood and its rich culture. We are so excited to re-purpose this decommissioned fire hydrant into public art for all our neighbors in Oakland to enjoy,” said Fire Marshal Mike Martin. “We hope that this fire hydrant will remind people of fire safety in their homes and help be a reminder to check your smoke detector to make sure it is working.”
The fire hydrant will be unveiled to the public on Saturday, January 26th at noon at Fire Department #6 located at 1419 SE Seward. At the unveiling the Fire Department will be handing out applications for free smoke detectors. The American Red Cross will also be in attendance to talk about their Sound the Alarm campaign that will be in the Oakland neighborhood on April 27th to install free smoke detectors in homes in the area.
The City of Topeka Fire Department is committed to making sure that our citizens have working smoke detectors in their home in case of a fire and fire safety knowledge.  In 2018 there were 7 fires in Oakland that resulted in one death, two injuries, one firefighter injury and approximately $210,000 in damages.

 Recent Updates 

  • There have been 20 broken water mains year to date. At this time last year there were 70 water main breaks. 
  • Utilities Collection repair crews will begin this week to construct levee gates and will be replacing them on the levee at several locations. This prevents traffic from driving on the levee. The gates are built in-house and installed by WPC crews.
  • The street department filled 949 potholes.
  • The Property Maintenance Rehabilitation program will begin accepting applications February 1st.

Fire Station #3 Renovations

Fire Station #3 is starting a renovation of their facilities. The renovation will include new locker rooms, a women's dorm and bathroom and new kitchen facilities. The Fire Station #3 renovation is part of the 2019 CIP plan. 

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. 
1.       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.
2.       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.
3.       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, February 5th at 6 p.m.
  • The Point-In-Time count of the homeless will be January 23rd.
  • Saturday January 26th at noon, Fire Station #6 will be unveiling public art of a decommissioned fire hydrant at their station in Oakland.
  • There will a workshop with the Governing Body on Saturday, February 9th from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm to discuss the proposed 2020-2029 Capital Improvements Plan (CIP). Staff will present and highlight projects included in the CIP.

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: