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city manager's report

information for the city of topeka's governing body

News & Updates

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Zoo Offers English Language Learner Summer Camp

TOPEKA, Kan. – Trying to expand its environmental education resources into more of our community, educators at the Topeka Zoo designed its last week of Summer Adventure Camp for English Language Learners.  Partnering with Topeka Public Schools, an interpreter will be with the camp each day to translate the instruction and activities into Spanish.

The theme for this week of camp is Aventuras de Habitat (Habitat Adventures).  The week-long adventure will teach campers about many of the different places around the world that animals call home.  From an African bush camp, to the sands of the desert, campers will meet live animals and investigate how they survive in their respective habitats.

“This camp is offers an opportunity for English Language Learners that hasn’t existed here before,” Education Curator Dennis Dinwiddie said.  “This is the only specifically designed ELL environmental education program in our community.”

“We began promoting this camp back in May,” Zoo Director Brendan Wiley said. “At this point, we have not had any ELL students register for it.  We are hoping that one more push will get the word out.”

The week of camp runs from August 4th to the 8th, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.  Campers ages 6 to 12 are welcome.  Registration for the camp costs $150 per camper for the full week, or $125.00 for Friends of the Zoo members.  Payment can be made by calling the zoo at 368-9137, or by stopping by the zoo during open office hours, Monday through Friday.

New Property Maintenance Code Reminders

TOPEKA, Kan. – A clearer, more understandable and enforceable property maintenance code went into effect in the Topeka City limits on July 1, 2014.  The purpose of the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) is to protect the public health, safety, and welfare in existing residential and non-residential structures, and on existing premises.

In order to help educate residents, we further explain specific changes below. 

Section 302.3 – Sidewalks and Driveways

All sidewalks, walkways, stairs, driveways, parking spaces and similar areas shall be kept in a property state of repair and maintained free from hazardous conditions.  These areas which are walking surfaces could  potentially become hazardous for pedestrian traffic. 

Eliminating conditions which have deteriorated or are not in good repair, will reduce the potential for accidents or injuries.

Section 304.2 – Premises Identification

Structures must have approved address numbers placed in a position which is plainly legible and visible from the street or road fronting the property (and on the rears of properties with alleys).  The numbers must contrast with their background and are required to be in Arabic numbers or alphabet numbers, with a minimum height of 4” and minimum width of ½”.  Address identification is extremely important and essential for the rapid response of emergency personnel.

Several sections of the IPMC are not new, but definitions may have changed slightly.  We encourage everyone to review the various sections at  If you have questions, please feel free to contact the code official for your area or contact the Code office at (785) 368-3161.