Topeka City Council approves the Capital Improvement Plan

13 NEWS at 10 p.m.
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 10:26 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Topeka City Council passed the Capital Improvement Plan with a couple of last minute changes.

After months of discussion, the Topeka City council passed the Capital Improvement Plan with two last minute amendments.

The council approved a ten-year plan that includes everything from replacing outdated vehicles in the police and fire departments to making much needed repairs to several roadways.

“There’s some big projects in there that are exciting,” said Interim City Manger Bill Cochran. “It will be inconvenient, anytime you have construction, but when it’s all finished, it will be really nice. Included in there is the Polk Quincy Viaduct.”

Several last minute amendments were brought to the council, the first by Councilman Mike Lesser to pull improvements for one Topeka parking garage from the CIP so it can be evaluated on its own merits.

“Most people know we have a lot of deferred cost and repairs and maintenance on the parking garages and the town site parking garage was one that was identified by councilman Lesser,” said Cochran. “They did not remove the money out of the CIP for repairs to that, but we’re going to have accelerated conversations about what that parking garage is going to look like and what the future of it may be.”

The council also cut the allocated expense in half for the new HVAC system for TPAC and City Hall after they learned it would only cost three to five million.

“Now we have basically five million dollars that we can work with,” said Cochran. “Looking at the the other amendment was that we would not spend any dollar more on that HVAC system until we have consultation by the governing body.”

Interim City Manager Bill Cochran encourages Topekans to get involved and have conversations with their council members as the council heads into discussion for the city budget.

The council heard an updated timeline on the hiring process for the next city manager at their Tuesday meeting.

City staff says they hope to extend an offer by the end of August, with a November 1st start date.

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