From the City Manager's Desk

September 3, 2018

Camp Cowabunga 

Camp Cowabunga is officially open! The new zoo exhibit features several animals such as painted dogs, lions, ostriches and patas monkeys. Camp Cowabunga is modeled to look like an African safari experience. 
Former Zoo Director Gary Clarke spent several years guiding safari's in Africa. Several items that he collected during his time there is on display. 
Visit today and get more information at the Topeka Zoo

Road Construction Update

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

Work continuing on: 
  • Micro surfacing- Project is completing its fifth week. A second crew started nighttime work on Sunday (8/26) on arterial and collector streets. The nighttime work will last approximately 2 weeks.
  • SW Gage (21st to 25th)- Traffic was shifted on Tuesday to the northbound (east side) lanes to allow for full depth concrete panel replacement in the southbound (west side) lanes.
  • SW Burlingame/SW 29th Intersection- Southbound lanes were overlaid on Saturday and two-way traffic on Burlingame shifted to the southbound lanes this week.  Work starting on the 3rd phase (SE quadrant of the intersection).
  • SW 6th between Gage and Fairlawn- Contractor continuing to install curb and gutter along with driveways this week.  Also starting to grade behind the curbs.
  • Asphalt milling occurring in Clarion Woods this week ahead of overlay.
  • Bridge on SE 6th (over the Shunga) is having scheduled maintenance patching performed.  Significant issues with the expansion joints will create the need for both short and long term repairs on this bridge.
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.

Topeka Zoo Staff Member named an AZA Hero's Finalist

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums is hosting a video contest to find 4 heroes who are passionate about their work to star in their next video. We're proud to say that one of our educators, Rachael, was chosen as a top 10 finalist! The online vote will be the primary factor in selecting the final 4 so we need your help to get us to the top of this nation-wide contest!
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) provides accreditation to 232 zoos and aquariums that meet the highest standards for animal welfare and work relentlessly to protect wildlife and wild places. AZA is searching for four heroes, passionate about their work and conservation, to star in our next video! Vote for your favorite hero today and check back on September 26 to see the winners. Winners will be announced at AZA's Annual Conference hosted in Seattle, Washington. Learn more about AZA and our commitment to animals and conservation:
Voting is simple. All you have to do is click on this link ( and vote for Rachael R. at the bottom of the page. Thank you!

Kansas Water Environment Association Award  

The City of Topeka was presented with the Class 5 Wastewater Treatment Plant Award for the Oakland Plant for 2018.
The City of Topeka was also presented with the Biosolids Management Award for 2018.
Tim Martin & Clay Warren will receive a Quarter Century Operator Award from Kansas in recognition for their dedicated service to our profession.
Utilities Employees: Richard Martinez, Becky Roeckers, Jeffrey Rogers, Dustin Coles, & Nicholas Ortiz will receive their WEF Quarter Century Operator Awards from the Water Environment Federation. This award differs from the Kansas Award as the above mentioned met the requirement for having been a WEF member for 5 years prior to eligibility.

 Recent Updates 

  • There have been 135 water main breaks in August with 601 breaks year to date. Last year at this time there were 252 total breaks.
  • Fire Station 5 A, B, and C shifts along with Battalion Chiefs and Shift Commanders finished Team Up to Clean Up work in the Central Park area. Fire crews and personnel spent over 70 hours in the neighborhood Installing smoke detectors and reflective house numbers provided by Kansas Gas July and August.
  • Snow removal equipment preparations start September 8. There are 105 pieces of snow fighting equipment, from a small snow blower to the large dump trucks, snow plows and bed-mounted spreaders blades.

Clean Slate Day  

Clean Slate Day will be held in the Municipal Court on September 21st from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Topeka Community Foundation has provided a grant to help pay for some fees and fines for those who income qualify.
If you plan to attend Clean Slate Day, please bring an I.D., social security card, proof of income and any information about Municipal Court offenses. 

Touch a Truck

Several City departments including Police, Fire, Public Works and Utilities participated in the downtown Touch-a-Truck event. 
Touch-a-Truck lets children and adults see and experience the heavy equipment that city staff use every day. 

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

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: