Topeka Council Defers TMTA Mill Decision

By: Suzie Gilbert Email
By: Suzie Gilbert Email

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The budget for the Topeka Metropolitan Transit Authority could be in jeopardy.

Topeka City Council members voted to defer action on capping the TMTA mill levy, as the Transit Authority comes under fire for alleged illegal meetings.

On the table was an ordinance to authorize a cap of 4.2 mills for the TMTA's property tax levy next year. The 4.2 mills would equate to about $48 in property taxes on a $100-thousand home.

TMTA officials say according to state statute, Tuesday (4/24) was the deadline for establishing a budget, but City Council members say they can work around that, that they first want an investigation into whether the Transit Authority violated the Kansas Open Meetings Act when they called the March 29th meeting to discuss Janlyn Nesbett Tucker's contract.

City Council members say they won't make a decision until they hear results from a legal investigation.

Good news for Topeka bicyclists, the Metropolitan Topeka Planning Organization presented the 'Topeka Bikeways Master Plan' to Council members Tuesday night.

The detailed plan features 25 routes connecting all areas of Topeka, and supporters say the first phase is ready to implement.

Councilwoman Karen Hiller says enough money may be raised through private funding alone to implement phase one by this summer.

The City of Topeka won't foot the bill for one man's car repair bills.

The issue may bring a larger issue regarding potholes to the table.

Topeka resident Eric Cortez filed a tort claim for about $17-hundred for car repairs, saying he hit a pothole in Topeka that he couldn't avoid.

The Council denied the claim, but not without a fight from Councilman John Alcala, who says the city's call-in method of reporting potholes is flawed, and that the Council should assign personnel to monitor Topeka's streets on a daily basis.

Alcala says if the city isn't proactive to the problem, then the city is negligent.

City Council members also approved a budget of more than $600-thousand to purchase a new fire engine for the Topeka Fire Department. They also authorized a $1.7 million dollar budget for improvements to the Chesney Park and Ward Meade areas.


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