From the City Manager's Desk

May 14, 2018

Bike Week 

May 14-18 is Bike Week in Topeka. Join the City of Topeka, the Topeka Metro and Topeka Community Cycle Project all week long in bike activities. Bike to work each day to celebrate bike week and join Mayor De La Isla on May 15th to bike with the Mayor. 
The City of Topeka will be going live on our Facebook page all week to talk about biking in our community. Check out our bike week prep tips that we did with the Topeka Community Cycle Project here: 
Check out this video on how to rent a bike from the Topeka Metro Bike Share program:

Road Construction Update

  • The contractor is now working on the last phase of SW 10th and Wanamaker project, which is the northwest corner of the intersection. The project is on track to be completed by June 15, weather permitting.
  • SW Gage – 6th to Fairlawn project. The opening of SW 6th between SW Gage and the Chalet Apartments is set for May 17. The contractor has some concrete placement around manholes and water valve lids in the roadway before it will reopen.
  • 21st and S. Kansas Ave. – A one-day closure this past week allowed crews to do necessary water main work. The intersection will be closed for reconstruction in all directions for the summer beginning May 29th. It will open before school starts.
  • A public meeting is set for the Central Park Neighborhood Street Resurfacing Project (May 17), the SW Gage – 21st and 25th Street Project (May 23), and the SE Adams – 29th to 33rd Street Project (May 24). Go to the City of Topeka’s main page,, for more information.

Battle of the Badges 

With lights flashing and sirens blaring, Topeka law enforcement and fire personnel often arrive first at emergencies, always ready to help. These local first responders will help ensure blood is available during medical emergencies by partnering with the American Red Cross for the Battle of the Badges Blood Drive Thursday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Holliday Building, 620 SE Madison.
During the blood drive, the Topeka Fire Department and the Topeka Police Department will compete to see who can recruit the most blood donors. Everyone who comes to give blood can cast a vote to determine who will win this year’s bragging rights.
To make an appointment for the 2018 Topeka Battle of the Badges, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and use sponsor code Topeka.
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Habitat for Humanity Women in Leadership Build Day 

Seven women from the City of Topeka participated in Habitat for Humanity's Women in Leadership Build Day. The team worked to do finishing touches, such as painting,  for it's new owners to move into this summer. 

 Recent Updates 

  • Chief Cochran met with the newly formed Chief’s Advisory Board.
  • TFD Training Division facilitated a joint training with Topeka Fire Technical Rescue Team, Osage County fire department responders, and KU Fire Rescue Training Institute on grain engulfment rescue.
  • The Planning Department was awarded 3 Historic Preservation Grants from the State of Kansas on May 5th including 1) Historic Garlinghouse Resources of Topeka, KS 1910-1960 ($20,000), 2) Tennessee Town Intensive Historic Survey Phase #1 ($14,500), and 3) continued training for Landmarks Commission and staff ($5,911). In addition to the grants, the State also approved Shiloh Baptist Church in Tennessee Town for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Sylvia Davis, Utilities General Manager graduated from the 2018 Greater Topeka Leadership course. The course consists of eight sessions that teach adaptive leadership through information, dialogue and hands-on experiences.

Property Maintenance and Habitat for Humanity Video 

Episode four of the Property Maintenance and Habitat for Humanity video is now live. This month's video covers taking care of the weeds and grass at your home. Grass over twelve inches tall can be cited. Watch the full video here: 

Native Bee Houses 

Belle Avenue Ponds and Jackson Street Retention Area each received a native bee house courtesy of Water Pollution Control. From pollinating gardens to fruit trees to flowers, native bees maybe small in size but they play a big part in our everyday lives. Native bees are solitary and gentle, they play a big part in keeping Topeka beautiful.
Female native bees will use nesting trays and natural reeds to lay their larvae inside a cocoon along with a pollen loaf. The pollen will feed the larvae during hibernation until it emerges in the spring.
Don’t be alarmed when you see a bee house! Water Pollution Control has posted signs about the bee houses to let you know there could be native bees in the area. The bees are more concerned about their work and don’t mind you watching them.

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! 

Coming up

  • Bike Week is May 14-20th. 
  • Bike with the Mayor day is May 15th. 
  • Battle of the Badges on Thursday, May 17th.
  • The Neighborhood Stabilization Program will be closed out and a public hearing will be held on May 22nd at 5:30 in the Holliday Conference Room.


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: