Mayor Larry Wolgast and Shawnee County Commission Chair Shelly Buhler addressed a full crowd of Topekans eager to learn more about developments underway in the capital city at the annual State of the Community luncheon April 11. The event, hosted at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, provided the elected of cials with a forum to discuss highlights, which included the following:
About 45 percent of taxpayer dollars are allocated toward public safety.
The Juvenile Detention Center within the county jail earned its rst full accreditation from the American Correctional Association. The Department of Corrections is working closely with Valeo Behavioral Health Care and law enforcement to handle individuals who are in custody with a mental illness. With increasing neighborhood support, law enforcement support and the leadership of Safe Streets, our community was ranked seventh in the nation for the 2015 National Night Out for communities of a comparable size.
Approximately 90,000 pounds of electronic waste was collected for the rst-
ever combined city and county E Cycle event in September 2015. Also in 2015, 274,000 pounds of household hazardous waste was collected along with 22 million pounds of recycled materials.
The Heartland Healthy Neighborhoods coalition provided 39,000 individual health services to citizens. In June, Shawnee County Public Health will relocate near Second and MacVicar.
Shawnee County Election Office
The new building at 3420 SW Van Buren opened in 2015. The new building along with the purchase of new voting equipment will ensure state-of-the-art upgrades for the voting process.
Many successes were mentioned as reasons for celebration: Big Heart Pet Brands, FHLBank Topeka, Koch and Co., R and R Pallet Inc., Alorica and Mars Chocolate North America represent in 2015 alone 262 new jobs and $168 million in capital investment.
Quality of Life
Heartland Visioning is working on a master plan for the NOTO Arts District. Improvements to the Kansas Expocentre are underway. Downtown’s revitalization will be celebrated with a concert featuring KANSAS July 2nd, and a groundbreaking for a $30 million levee project took place in March. Plans are in the works to engage the public for input in designing a new Oregon Trail Park in August. A $20 million construction project is underway on a new Willard bridge, which will be completed in December 2017.
Shawnee County Parks and Recreation
With the help of Midwest Health Inc., the community will soon have the Midwest Health Aquatic Center in the southwest part of the county. Gage Park will eventually feature a perimeter trail and Shawnee North will also be the site of a one- mile perimeter tness trail. With the help of Azura Credit Union, Skyline Park now has 4.5 miles of trails and additional park improvements. Two sports elds at Dornwood Park are being rebuilt and seven miles of nature trails are being upgraded. Concrete is being poured for a new spray park for the neighborhood.
Thanks to our sponsors for this event
Dynamic Computer Solutions of Topeka
Bartlett & West, CoreFirst Bank & Trust, MidAmerican Credit Union, The Topeka Capital-Journal, Topeka/Shawnee County Public Library, Washburn Tech and Westar Energy
AMR, Canada Drug, Cox Communications, Foulston Siefkin LLC, Schendel Lawn and Landscape, St. Francis Health and Vision Bank
BMW and VW of Topeka, Capitol Federal®, Heartland Visioning, jones huyett Partners, Kansas Commercial Real Estate Services, Inc. Professional Engineering Consultants, PA, Rasmussen College, Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office, Stormont Vail Health, Valeo Behavioral Health Care, Inc. and Washburn University Foundation.