City Council Approves $12.6 Million Makeover Of Topeka Streets

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)__The main item on the agenda was a $12.69 million dollar budget to improve existing streets. The budget proposal includes stretches that run west on SW 4th, 5th, and 6th beginning at Topeka Boulevard.

Councilmembers voted to pass it unanimously but not before councilman Chad Manspeaker voiced his opinion on where those improvements should be made. "What's important is making sure we have a balance of the road projects that we are doing, not just the outskirts of the city. The central part of the city that is just as important as folks travel downtown and throughout the area," said Manspeaker.

The proposed budget would authorize maintenance and improvements to existing streets, curbs, gutters and sidewalks, with funding coming from the half cent sales tax.

That half cent sales tax plan was an issue for councilmember Karen Hiller, who says some of the streets allowed to be improved, were not supposed to be touched until two years from now. "We had a ten year plan. We are in year four and it was to only do major roads the first six years and residential roads the last four. If we start doing residential roads now, i just want to know if we are not following the plan anymore and if not, than we need to do it with a purpose," said Hiller.

Councilmembers also voted unanimously to improve a stretch of road on SW 17th from Washburn Avenue to Macvicar on the north end of Washburn University's campus.

Manspeaker represents the area and said it is in dire need of repair.

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