From the Interim City Manager's Desk

April 3, 2017

Topekan selected for an adventure

Topeka Zoo Educator Rachael Rost has been selected by National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions as a 2017 Grosvenor (pronounced Grove-ner) Teacher Fellow.
As part of the fellowship, Rost will be going on a 10-day expedition to the Galapagos Islands in September. She will bring back knowledge and experience to share in our community.

Recent Updates

  • The results are in! Through in-person and social media polling, you told us infrastructure is your TOP priority for next year's budget. Of the more than 900 votes cast, 47 percent marked infrastructure as the first priority for the 2018 budget. Your Governing Body is set to vote on its priorities Tuesday at 6 p.m. You can learn more about the 2018 budget process, including a calendar of events, at our budget webpage.
  • Starting today, water crews will begin inspecting City fire hydrants for flow, functionality, appearance and visual and accessibility obstructions. We will post the areas we are working in on social media, but please know it is not uncommon for your tap water to become discolored when hydrants in your area have been inspected. If this happens to you, please run the water in your tub, shower and sink until it's clear. If the discoloration continues, please call 368-3111.
  • The fire department responded to a total of 448 calls this week, including 30 fire calls. In that time, the department received 248 calls for EMS Service, with an average response time of 7 minutes and 5 seconds. And from March 23 to 30, losses attributed to fires amounted to $86,000 in property and $40,250 in content.
  • The fire department also finished its recruit academy with seven new recruits dispatched to companies, had its new pumper put into service at Station 7, and logged 3,012 hours of various training this month.
  • Alternative Sentencing Court celebrated its 14th graduate since the start of the program. Administrative Judge Jason Geier stated the graduate “has probably been our greatest example of how ASC can change lives in a positive manner.” Through this program, we connected this individual with the services and accountability he needed to finally address severe, untreated health issues. He now has a job counselor, a sponsor and regularly goes to groups to help him continue his progress. This is precisely why this program was created, and it’s a proud moment for all of us at the City.
  • Transportation operations manufactured 54 signs and inspected 17 traffic signals. Crews also sealed more than 8 miles of cracks in the roadway and maintained 4,250 feet of alley.
  • The Property Maintenance Unit processed nine warrants and had one demolition (1218 SW 6th). So far this year, PMU has opened 2,542 cases and conducted 10,168 inspections.

1st Curb Your Clutter Saturday

The first Curb Your Clutter pick up will be Saturday, April 8. If this is your clean up, your items need to be on the curb no later than Friday, April 7.
Crews will be picking up bulk items from the curbs in nine neighborhoods: North Topeka East, Oakland, East End, East Topeka North, East Topeka South, Monroe, Central Highland Park, Jefferson Square and Highland Acres.
The next CYC pick up is April 15, and the last is April 22. More information, including the NIA schedule, can be found on the news release page.

Coming up

  • Topeka's Governing Body meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The agenda includes votes on a development agreement for a downtown plaza, a neighborhood event and beautification grant program, TGT committee recommendations and 2018 budget priorities. There also will be discussion items on the 2018-2027 CIP and use of the excess countywide half-cent sales tax.
  • On April 12, TPD officers will be meeting their "Badge Buddies" -- pen pals from a 5th grade class at Williams Magnet. Nineteen officers have been exchanging letters with the students since February.
  • Safe Streets is offering training for landlords and property managers from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, April 13, at Safe Streets, 2209 SW 29th Street. Registrations are limited and cost $25. Contact 785-266-4606 for more information.
  • Applications to our summer employment program for 14-to 21-year-olds close April 14. Apply here.
  • Our third electronic recycling event is set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 29 at the Expocentre. Keep it in mind as you clean out your homes this spring!

Futures 2040 final meeting

The final meeting about our long-range regional transportation plan, Futures 2040, will be 5:30 to 7 p.m. May 3 at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. It will include a presentation on the plan's recommendations, which were cultivated from several public meetings and surveys of the public.

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: