From the City Manager's Desk

August 20, 2018


The 2019 budget was adopted by the Governing Body on August 14th, without an increase in taxes.
Next, the Budget and Performance Division will be finalizing the budget book for submission to the Government Finance Officers Association. Visit for more information on the budget. 

Road Construction Update

The image on the right is a list of featured road construction projects for 2018. 
Contractors are placing concrete starting as early as 6 a.m.  because the city shuts-down concrete placement on public projects in the early afternoon, once temperatures approach 95 degrees.
Work continuing on: 
  • 21st & KS Intersection week. East/west traffic on 21st opened last Friday. Temporary signals were installed early this week to allow traffic on Kansas from 21st to the south. Kansas Avenue north of 21st will remained closed for approximately 1 month. Permanent signals will be delivered and installed by mid-October.
  • SE Adams between 29th and 33rd. Contractor began demo of pavement between 29th and the Post Office this week.
  • Microsurfacing. Project is completing its third week. Project is approximately 24% complete. Significant full depth patching occurred on Washburn and Lane this week ahead of microsurfacing in this area.
  • SW Gage (21st to 25th).  Contractor poured a significant number of concrete patches on both Friday and Saturday of last week.
  • SW 6th between Gage and Fairlawn. Contractor finished placing base asphalt along the entire length of the project this week. Curb placement, driveways and sidewalk work is scheduled before more asphalt is placed.
  • SW 49th – placement of curbs along the north side began on Thursday. 
Street Project Startup and Major Phase Changes:
  • SW 29th – Fairlawn to I-470 will start in September.

Fire Department takes student on a special ride to school 

The Topeka Fire Department took one lucky child to the first day of school in a fire engine. Mark is seven years old and is in second grade. He rode in the fire engine, received a fire hat and sticker badge and was escorted into school by three firefighters. The Topeka Police Department even provided an escort for the fire engine to make sure that Mark got to his first day of school safely. Thanks for riding with the Topeka Fire Department Mark! We hope you have a great first day!

Storm-water Inlets

Topeka Way to Work interns helped the Utilities Department in stenciling storm-water inlets for the City’s Team Up to Clean Up initiative. Their efforts in the Central Park Neighborhood resulted in 45 stenciled inlets with the message of “No Dumping – Drains to River”. Storm-water runoff picks-up trash, grass clippings, debris and many other pollutants as it flows to the storm inlets. By placing trash in receptacles, recycling products, mulching grass and leaves and following label directions for chemical application everyone can help keep our waterways clean.

 Recent Updates 

  • There have been 93 water main breaks this month with 559 breaks year to date. Last year at this time there were 234 total breaks.
  • Mayor De La Isla, City Manager Brent Trout and Finance Director Nickie Lee will be attending the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative in New York City. The program provides training to local government Mayors and City leaders. Topeka was one of 40 cities worldwide chosen for this initiative.
  • The most recent quarterly financial report can be found at

Property Maintenance and Habitat for Humanity Video

The Property Maintenance Department and Habitat for Humanity are partnering to show you  how to make cost effective upgrades and repairs to your home. 
This month we focused on doors. Doors need to have a deadbolt lock and fit the frame of the home. You can watch the short video and find out how to measure a door for your home here:

Mayor's Initiative for Puerto Rico 

Mayor De La Isla wants your help to get school supplies for the children of Puerto Rico. 
Donations will be accepted at the Boys and Girls Club. Be sure to specify that the donation is for BGC Puerto Rico. 

Development and Growth Management Report 

Planning released the July, 2018 Development and Growth Management (DGM) Report which can be found at
Highlights include:
• Total building permits for new construction or remodel are projected to be at the same level as last year. Compared to 2017, residential permits are projected to increase by 18% while commercial permits would drop 21% by year end.
• 88 new residential units have been permitted for construction year to date.
• 58% of all new dwelling units within Shawnee County have been built within the City of Topeka year to date compared to 48% for 2017.
• Total building permit values are projected to decrease 34% by year end compared to last year which would be the lowest valuation totals since 2014.
• The 3 highest valued permits issued last month include:
o Brewster Place Cultural Arts Building and Pool, 1205 SW 29th St ($10.1M)
o Mater Dei Church Parish Hall, 1114 SW 10th Ave ($1.4M)
o Aldis Remodel,  105 SW 29th St ($800k)

Metropolitan Topeka Planning Organization Survey 

The Planning Department hosted two community meetings and launched an on-line survey for public feedback on the Topeka/Shawnee County Transportation Safety Plan sponsored by the Metropolitan Topeka Planning Organization (MTPO) and WSP consultants.
The project involves research of 23,591 crashes between 2010-2016 to ultimately determine how to reduce injuries, fatalities, and substantial economic loss related to crash incidents locally ($193 million annual average). Total crashes in the region are trending up. Much of this is due to driver behavior. Serious injury and fatal crashes are trending down except for pedestrians and bicyclists. For more information and to take the survey that will help develop focus areas for the plan, please visit

Coming up

  • City Council Meeting, August 21st at 6 p.m. 
  • Clean Slate Day will be on September 21st from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Municipal Court 

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: