From the City Manager's Desk

September 24, 2018

Water Festival 

On September 20th The City of Topeka’s Utilities Department sent 20 employees to volunteer in the Make a Splash Water Festival at Garfield Park. This year, 1,100 local 4th graders, teachers and parents attended the event to learn about a wide variety of water related topics. Utilities department staff taught the children about water pollution, erosion control and water infrastructure with interactive games and activities.

Encore Prize Voting

There is only two days left to vote! We need your help Topeka! We are in the top 25 out of 110 applicants for the Encore Gen2Gen Prize competition. We need your vote to help us win $50,000 to help 25 high school seniors connect with mentors over the age of 50! Common Unity is a pilot program that will take place at Highland Park High School and eventually all Topeka Public School high schools. The youth are our future and we want to help them in any way possible. The funds will make it possible to help students with ACT prep and fees, college application fees, college visits and much more.
You can vote once per day EVERY DAY today through Sept. 25th! The winner of public voting automatically receives $10,000 for their program and will move on to the finals in Los Angeles where we will pitch our program for $50,000. Please vote & help us get to Los Angeles to secure the $50,000:

1/2 Cent Sales Tax Renewal 

In the general election in November there will be a ballot item to renew the current 1/2 cent sales tax. 
The 1/2 cent sales tax funds 52% of the forecasted $24 million spent each year on street projects. 
The citywide sales tax program uses about $14 million raised annually through a 0.5 percent retailers’ tax, also known as a sales tax. The funds are used exclusively for costs of maintenance and improvements of existing City of Topeka streets, gutters, curbs, sidewalks, alleys and street lighting.
Learn more about street projects, preventative maintenance and investing in Topeka's infrastructure here:
The City Manager’s Office, Public Works and Finance are partnering to present to groups of citizens about the Citywide Half Cent Sales Tax renewal. If a group would like to request a presentation, please contact Molly Hadfield at or (785) 368-0991. 

Road Construction Update

The image on the right is a list of featured road construction projects for 2018. 

Work continuing on: 
  • Microsurfacing- This year’s project is winding down. Most, if not all work, will be completed by the end of business on Friday, Sept. 21. Some restriping may remain. The contractor completed 75 lane miles of microsurfacing in 8 weeks. Roads included arterials, collectors and residential asphalt streets.
  • SW 37th between Burlingame and Kirklawn- The project was completed this week. The contractor has moved to SW 17th between Fairlawn and Arrowhead. Work is expected to be completed in about 2 weeks.
  • Clarion Woods- Pavement removal and asphalt placement continues. Only small areas are removed and replaced at a time to reduce the distance residents must walk from their automobiles to their residences.
  • SW Gage between 21st and 25th- A 24-hour shutdown period is planned from 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, for a mill and overlay. The shutdown was approved to reduce construction time; provide a better finished product (smoother roadway); and save the City $14,000 in construction costs. Businesses, the VA and residents will be notified of the planned closure. A message board will be placed on Monday, Sept. 24, to alert motorists of the plan.
  • SE Adams between 29th and 33rd- Contractor prepared the outside lanes on the north end of the project for concrete placement, which is scheduled for next week.
  • 21st and Kansas- The traffic signals are expected to arrive on Friday, Sept. 28. Northbound lanes of KS Ave are nearly complete.
  • 29th and Burlingame- Work continuing on the southeast quadrant. Rework is necessary for the drive into the veterinarian’s office. That work is to take place next week.
  • Huntoon and Arvonia- Grading and retaining wall construction continues on the west leg. Next week they will work on ditch liners, median curb, sidewalks and ramps. That will be followed by concrete pavement.
Street Project Startup and Major Phase Changes:
  • SW 29th – Fairlawn to I-470 will start in September.
  • Two alley projects will start within the next two weeks.
  • Startup of the two mill and overlay projects.

Clean Slate Day 

468 people participated in Clean Slate Day on September 21st. Clean Slate Day helps people with outstanding warrants, fines and fees to get those issues taken care of. Individuals were also able to get their drivers licenses reinstated. 
The Topeka Community Foundation provided a $3,500 grant to help people pay outstanding fines and fees.
Representatives from community organizations provided information about employment, housing and other services.

 Recent Updates 

  • There have been 35 water main breaks in September with 638 breaks year to date. Last year at this time there were 277 total breaks.
  • 57 dirt restorations for water main breaks have been completed this month with 359 completed this year. There are 163 pending dirt restorations.
  • Neighborhood Relations staff cross trained with Housing and Credit Counseling so city staff and HCCI staff can make appropriate referrals and help more constituents with their needs.
  • The Public Works Department filled 801 potholes this week.

Neglected Building Registration Survey 

Below is a link to a brief survey regarding the proposed neglected building registration. We would appreciate your assistance getting the word out so we can get as much public input back on the proposed program as possible.

Coming up

  • City Council Meeting, October 2nd at 6 p.m. 
  • E-Cycle, October 20th at the Expo Centre
  • Public Meeting for the Bikeways III Project – Washburn/Lane from 6th to 17th is scheduled from 4:30-6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Topeka/Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 SW 10th, Marvin Auditorium, Room 101B.
  • Topeka Fire Department is will be hosting its annual Open House and Fallen Firefighter Memorial on October 13th between 1:00 and 4:00 at the Fire Department Headquarters.

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: