Topeka City Council Approves $8.6M In Bonds | Waits On SW Topeka Development

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Topeka City Council members authorized nearly $9 Million in bonds for improvements from city sidewalks to widening roads, but a hiccup is keeping a project on one end of town in "park" for now.

For three weeks, a plan to establish a Community Improvement District at 12th and SW Wanamaker road has been on the Topeka City Council agenda, and for three weeks it has been deferred because of a contractual issue between the city and the developer...

City Manager Jim Colson said, "We are very close, we thought we had a deal done but there was a misunderstanding so we are going to deal with that during the next week. We need to make sure everyone understands details and that its beneficial for the city."

Council members did however, approve $8.6 million dollars in bonds to improve the Highland Park and Hi-Crest neighborhoods, city sidewalks and widening city streets at NW Lyman, SE California and SW 37th streets.

While the improvements won't gain front page attention, supporters say they are vital.

City Public Works Director, Doug Whitacre said, "The biggest event is that we can improve the infrastructure and utilize that to better the transportation situations for the city."

The city also announced the hiring of current Goodland, Kansas City Manager Douglas Gerber as Topeka's next Financial and Administrative Services Director.

Colson said, "Doug brings some seasoned leadership. He is a very good financial guy and he has an understanding of how cities operate. He will be a very significant part of the management team."

City of Topeka Communications and Marketing Director Suzie Gilbert says Doug Gerber will begin some time in March with an annual salary of $106, 500 dollars...