Tour of Topeka Infrastructure Projects

We invited residents to come on a tour with us around the City to see Capital Improvement Plan projects, past, current and future.

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  1. This was our second year to offer a tour around the City looking at various Capital Improvement Projects (you can see the highlights from the first one here). This year, we wanted to open it up to neighborhood leaders and other engaged citizens.
  2. So after we reserved seats for the Governing Body and staff, we asked people at the Neighborhood Leaders Round table and on Nextdoor if they wanted to participate.
  3. The response was outstanding: Going into Saturday, we only had six seats open between the two tours.
  4. Let me pause right here and give a huge shout out to Topeka Metro. Saturday, last year, any time we've asked for a bus to take us around the City, they have been more than accommodating. Thank you, Metro.

  5. Before we get too much farther, I want to make sure we all know what I'm talking about. The Capital Improvement Plan is a (now) 10-year plan of infrastructure investments -- that includes a lot of street projects, but also other things, like updates to City facilities and fleet. You can find the CIP we are working from this year here.
  6. Topeka in Two: Capital Improvement Projects
  7. Council each year approves an updated plan, along with a three-year Capital Improvement Budget. That dedicates funding to the projects, so we can get started. Street projects, for example, take three years to design, relocate utilities and construct, so we need to have that funding dedicated at least three years out, so we can start.
  8. We have a full webpage about our CIP with lots of documents and information: topeka.org/cip
  9. Now back to our regularly scheduled blog.

  10. We toured 15 projects on our CIP tours Saturday.
  11. We got to check out the new rehabilitated pump station at the Water Treatment Plant, where we learned the pumps hadn't been updated since 1953...
  12. ...and the plant used to have a fun water park right about here.
  13. We also stopped by the City's oldest fire station, Fire Station No. 7, 1215 SW Oakley, built in 1935.
  14. The fire crew who gave us a tour told us it's also one of if not the busiest fire station in town: It responded to 3,500 calls last year alone.
  15. The station was on the tour, because we've doubled the amount of CIP funds we're putting toward updating facilities, like fire stations.
  16. Then we visited the Zoo, where director Brendan Wiley gave us some insight into Kay's Garden and the zoo master plan (which, spoiler, includes an awesome new exhibit in which monkeys train US).
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