From the Interim City Manager's Desk

July 10, 2017


Camp Cowabunga's ground breaking was held at the Topeka Zoo on July 6, 2017.  Special guests, including emeritus Gary Clarke, were there to tell us about the history and future of the African safari experience coming next year to our Zoo community.
The public campaign to finish the fund-raising for Camp Cowabunga will begin within the next few days.  Nearly 14,000 letters are being sent to current and past Friends of the Zoo members asking for their support.  Cumulus radio stations will ask listeners to get involved.  Other small community fundraisers are in the planning stages.
More information on donating can be found on the Camp website at

 Recent Updates

  • Harvesters held a food distribution at Jardine Middle School last week.
  • A fireline for the USD 501 offices is currently being repaired causing a closure on 29th street. Work on this line replacement project is expected to be completed by week of July 17th.
  • Staff has been focusing on housing cases and set a goal of 1700 by June 30 and exceeded that goal by completing 1741! 
  • SeeClickFix Topeka June report is out with 408 new issues reported and 491 issues closed.
  • NE Seward Avenue between NE Branner and NE Sumner opened to through traffic Friday afternoon following a ribbon cutting at the intersection of Seward and NE Freeman.
  • There is plenty of other street related construction work underway across Topeka:
    •  Topeka Blvd Phase 3 (10th to 11th, northbound lanes) is underway.  Our contractor currently is installing a new water main under the roadway.
    • 10th Street between Fairlawn and Gage was opened to 2-way traffic.   This is creating long delays at the 10th/Gage intersection.  Staff is looking at options to reduce backups.
    • 6th Street between Fairlawn and Gage was closed on Wednesday for the start of a 2-year road improvement project.
    • Wanamaker and 21st Street intersection improvements were switched to the SE quadrant this week.   This also permits reconstruction to begin on eastbound 21st Street west of Wanamaker.

Topeka Neighborhood Partnership Program

We are currently accepting applications for Topeka Neighborhood Partnership Program. The Neighborhood Partnership Program is a competitive grant program providing funding for neighborhood projects. This program:
o   Provides funding for events, projects and local grant-matching requirements for other grant programs
o   Is open to all formal and informal neighborhood groups. Informal groups can partner with a local non-profit or the Department of Neighborhood Relations Division of Community Engagement
o   Funds project costs from $500 to $2,500
The deadline for applications is July 28.

Coming up

  • Three new management interns start next this week. The interns are completing the University of Kansas Master's in Public Administration program and will rotate between the City Manager's Office, Finance, Planning and Neighborhood Relations. These students are a great resource for the City. Thanks to our outgoing intern who will be starting a full time internship!
  • Plan to attend the Fiesta Mexicana this week, July 11 - 15!
  • Refuel Topeka continues to provide free meals to kids this summer. You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • July 10th, 12th, and 15th, the TPD will be providing Child Identification Kits to the community at Area McDonalds. Check out their Facebook page for more details!
  • Thursday the 13th at 6:30 pm, the zoo will be hosting a free presentation for the public on the status of wolves.  The presentation will be conducted by the Executive Director of the International Wolf Center.


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: