Shawnee Co. Approves Parks & Rec Merger Plan

By: 13 News
By: 13 News

Topeka - Shawnee County Commissioners unanimously approved a proposal for merging their Parks and Recreation Department with the city of Topeka's.

Under the commission proposal, the city would retain its forestry division but the county would take over much of the rest of the operations, including 59 city parks and Cypress Ridge Golf Course.

Several council members and other city officials attended Thursday's meeting to hear details of the county's plan.

Commissioners say it's a matter of saving tax dollars. Commissioner Vic Miller says city workers shouldn't feel like it's a reflection on the work they're doing. He says it's simply an effort to combine two good departments and make them better for the people.

Topeka City Manager Norton Bonaparte says he is interested in reviewing the county's proposal and doing what is in the best interests of taxpayers. He says the city and county staffs will meet to review any questions the plan raises. He says he'll also schedule a meeting with city council members so they may voice any concerns.

Last month, the city council approved a joint resolution expressing intent to merge the departments.

Details of the proposed consolidation plan begin on page 31 of the attached document.

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