City, Agencies Announce 3rd Annual "Snow Relief Team"

TOPEKA, Kan. - The City of Topeka and two area agencies have joined together to provide limited snow removal service for older citizens and those with a disability who qualify.

The City of Topeka, the Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging, and the Topeka Independent Living Resource Center announced today the 3rd Annual “Snow Relief Team.” The team will consist of five or six crews of women inmates from the Topeka Correctional Facility, and two male inmate crews from Shawnee County Department of Corrections. Their task will be to remove snow on driveways and public sidewalks adjacent to properties of qualifying Topekans.

“We want to help our older citizens and persons with a disability with snow removal following large snows,” said Randy Speaker, Deputy City Manager. “Our focus will be on those Topeka residents who have limited incomes and who do not have able-bodied relatives to assist them in their time of need”.

Often driveway entrances are plowed shut during street cleanups, making it difficult to get out. Also, those using wheelchairs to get around might need a path cleared to a bus stop, for example. Both situations could be resolved by the teams, he added. Also, City code requires sidewalks to be cleared no more than 12 hours after a snow or ice storm or no more than 6 hours after sunrise.

Snow removal service will be available Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. excluding holidays. Snow accumulation must be one inch or more. The City may decline to provide a service if weather is hazardous for the safety of City personnel and/or equipment.

To qualify, a person must:
• Reside within the City of Topeka city limits AND
• Have an income of no more than $33,800 per household per year for one person household or $38,650 per household per year for a two person household
• Be 55 years of age or older OR
• Have a disability AND
• Have no other local family member that can help.

To see if you qualify for the Snow Relief Team assistance, call the Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging at 235-1367 or the Topeka Independent Living Resource Center at 233-4572.