From the Interim City Manager's Desk

June 19, 2017

2018 Proposed Budget

Finance has released the proposed budget for 2018. 

 Recent Updates

  • The web application for the Build a Better World at the Library was launched! Check it out for some summer fun.
  • Traffic/Streets painted 237 miles of pavement markings and completed 28,800 linear feet of crack sealing.
  • June 13th, 2000 End of Watch Reminder, Fallen TPD Officers Joey Bohlender & Jeff Howey. Gone, but never forgotten.
  • With recent Citizen Academy Graduation, six of those graduates are now in the process to become volunteers (VIPS) for the TPD. The next Citizens Academy is scheduled to begin in August.
  • The last Council Recap is available for viewing!

Last Chance to See Zoo's Lions This Weekend

Plans are moving forward with a major new infrastructure project called Camp Cowabunga at the Topeka Zoo.  Beginning Monday, the Lions Pride Exhibit will not be available for guest viewing until Camp Cowabunga opens to the public in 2018.  “This is a great milestone for us,” said Zoo Director Brendan Wiley.  “This is the first project of our masterplan and the first of several that will add great new opportunities over the next ten to fifteen years.”
Lions Pride opened at the Topeka Zoo in 1989.  Since the time it opened, more than five and a half million people have visited the zoo.  The lion habitat will continue into the future as the anchor exhibit for Camp Cowabunga.  During the construction process, the lions will be relocated to a carnivore holding area in the Zoo’s quarantine building.
With the construction of Camp Cowabunga, Lions Pride will get some much needed updates.  When the exhibit reopens, the lions will have a reconstructed den and new lion lounging furniture and heated rocks in their habitat.  Guests will have the opportunity to view lions through a traditional viewing window and also through a floor to ceiling window in the Cowabunga Safari Lodge.  Adjacent to the viewing window will be a training wall where guests will have the opportunity to watch lion keepers as they work with the lions in a cooperative animal training program.   More details about the Camp Cowabunga project, including a 3D computer model, can be found at
Over the last two years, the Zoo has been preparing for the time when Lions Pride and its surrounding area would be closed for construction by adding additional exhibits and activities on the opposite side of the Zoo.  Some of these activities include a Lorikeet Feeding Aviary, Wildlife Stage, Outdoor Creative Play Area and a walkthrough native butterfly habitat.  In the next few days, the Zoo will be releasing details about regular guided tours led by Zoo Docents.
Camp Cowabunga is a $4.4M project funded by a combination of private donations and designated sales tax revenue.  The private portion of the fundraising will be completed during the construction process.  For information on how to support the fundraising campaign, contact Zoo Director Brendan Wiley at 785-506-3797 or

Coming up

  • A public meeting is scheduled for the SW 25th – SW Fairlawn to I-470 on Monday, June 19, from 4:30 – 6:00 at Christ the King Catholic Church at 25th and Wanamaker. Join us if you can!
  • The next Coffee on Your Corner is scheduled for Wednesday, June 21. The topic is “Topeka Shawnee County Public Library Programs.
  • A ribbon cutting is set for 1 p.m. June 22 to dedicate the newest extension of the Shunga Trail. The ribbon cutting will be held along the trail just west of Fairlawn across from Crestview Park. Officials from the City of Topeka, the Kansas Department of Transportation and Shawnee County will be on hand.
  • Please take a moment to complete the ADA Survey that closes on June 30.
  • Refuel Topeka continues to provide free meals to kids this summer. You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • Construction on SW Topeka Boulevard between S.W. 7th and S.W. 10th will be completed by Monday and the northbound, east side, of Topeka between SW 10th and 11th streets will be closed for reconstruction.
    • The southeast quadrant of the 10th and Topeka intersection will also be closed.
    • Through traffic will continue to be allowed in all directions but all left turn movements will be prohibited. Right turns for northbound traffic will not be allowed at 10th Street because of the tight turning radius.
    •  This phase of the project is expected to last 6 weeks.


Doug Gerber

This weekly report is presented to you from the office of Interim City Manager Doug Gerber.
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: