Meeting Minutes – July 2018

College Hill Neighborhood Association Meeting

7:00 p.m. July 16, 2018

Westminster Presbyterian Church

Present: Katrina Shaw (President), Ardith Woertz (Vice-President), Tom Luellen (Treasurer), Gail Kennedy, Adrianne Johnson, Andy Fry, John E. Christensen, Susan Duffy, John Bowes, Dona Nordstrom, Zach Snethen, Theo Alford-Shaw, and Officer Hendricks.

Community Officer’s Update: The Crime Statistics Report was not available.  HOT TOPIC – car burglaries.  Nothing significant – foot traffic still an issue.  If missing something, calling pawn shops can be a useful resource.  Make sure you write down serial numbers on large ticket items, including bicycles, guns, etc.

Property Maintenance Compliance: Anything on the “lot” with the exception of vehicles that may be operable and are tagged come under the review of this unit.  Housing violations include inside and outside the home.  Most exterior issues involve paint, weeds (yard with vegetation over 1 foot high), and broken windows.  General junk on open porch (i.e. appliances, boxes of stuff, scrap wood) can be sited.  Homeowners are provided ten (10) days to comply after signing for the letter from the City.

Squatters are a real issue in our neighborhood.  Suggestion made that we contact all the City Council members to support the code compliance unit with more funds.

Treasurers Report: Tom Luellen reported a balance of $32,000; spent $600 on 4th of July event(s)l; and just received $1,300 in invoices.

Grant Update(s): Will be reimbursed $1,200 from the City of Topeka for the Barricades Grant – barricades cost $980.

Monuments on 17th – unveiling in planning with Margarita’s Jalisco.

July 4th Recap: THS ROTC not interested in coming.  Shawnee Heights High School came and performed.  Motion for donation to Shawnee Heights High School of $50 passed.  Susan Duffy and Tom Luellen seconded.

Recycling: John Christensen reported that after July 4th made $111.34.

NNO: Our NNO for College Hill will be jointly sponsored with the Topeka Community Cycle Project.  “Sandlot” will be showing at Boswell Park on August 11th.  Event starts at 6:00 p.m.  Movie will be shown after dark.

Annual Meeting: September 17, 2018.  (a) Elections to be held; and (b) Peggy Oster with the Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging will be the guest speaker.

Neighborhood Improvement Association: A portion of College Hill – East side of College Ave. to Washburn is being brought to our attention for further discussion with the City Planning Department.

The next meeting will be on the third Monday in September at 7:00 p.m.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

Meeting Minutes – May 2018

College Hill Neighborhood Association Meeting

7:00 PM May 21, 2018

Westminster Presbyterian Church

PRESENT: Katrina Shaw (President), Ardith Woertz (Vice-President), Tom Luellen (Treasurer), Regina Castle, Gail Kennedy, Adrianne Johnson, Jenny Odermatt, Erin Snethen, Officers Hendricks and Wall.

COMMUNITY OFFICER REPORT: Officers Hendricks and Wall updated as to the current crime statistics reflecting an increase in crime in the area of 15th and Boswell – 4 plex, some issues and calls on disturbances, more activity than normal, especially 15th street (burglaries to unlocked car on Plass; vehicle and residence burglaries on Garfield; attempted burglary with damage to both doors on Washburn; and possible abandoned vehicle on 15th street).

TREASURERS REPORT: Tome Luellen reported $2,600.00 earned at the Blossoms event, which is roughly $800 more than last year and the most ever earned.

NNO: Will be held August 11th at 6:00 PM in Boswell Park.  Ardith Woertz reported community members Gail Kennedy and Sarah Peterson-Herr were recruited for the committee.  The College Hill committee will meet after the last NNO orientation meeting in July.

FOURTH OF JULY: Grants application completed for barricades to help deter costs.  Volunteer hours valued at $20 per hour.  July 3rd and July 4th – Stars & Stripes Festival.  July 3rd band cost is $400.

COLLEGE HILL GARAGE SALE: May 31st through June 3rd.  Same weekend as the Mulvane Art Fair.  Stadium Movie will be June 2nd at Washburn University.  Admission will be a canned food item for donation.


WELCOME BASKETS: Update: 1516 Plass, 1404 Plass, & 1607 College baskets were delivered.  New neighbors at 15th & Boswell.  Thank you to Jenny Odermatt for all of your hard work.

BOARD ELECTIONS: Will occur at the September annual meeting.  Katrina will be unable to attend because of her Washburn class. 

The Secretary and Vice-President positions are open.

Guest Speaker will be Peggy with the Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging

JULY MEETING: The next meeting will be on the third Monday, July 16th at 7:00 PM

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

Meeting Minutes – March 2018


Westminster Presbyterian Church

March 19, 2018

PRESENT: Katrina Shaw (president), Tom Luellen (treasurer), Officer Hendricks, Delores Smith, Ardith Woertz, Susan Duffy, Gail Kennedy, Jenny & Jason Odermatt, Andy Fry, Erin Snethen, Carol Christensen, Karen Robertson (secretary).

Community Officer Update – Officer Hendricks distributed a report which showed that mail thefts are spiking and car burglaries are through the roof. He suggested that residents should put their house number where it can be seen from the alley to aid police and fire fighters. He also recommended that College Hill have a representative on Safe Streets.

Treasurer’s Report – Tom reported that since January 22, deposits totaled $4,093.15 and the current balance is $30,201.24. About 125 people attended the chili feed, which brought in $1,345.

Philicia McKee from Keep America Beautiful was the guest speaker at the meeting to acquaint members with the work the agency does. She distributed information about upcoming clean-up and recycling events. To volunteer to assist at any of the events, contact Philicia. She would also like to know of any local efforts, such as our College Hill clean-up day, as they count in the total of Keep America Beautiful achievements.

The College Hill clean-up will be April 21- no yard waste or tires will be accepted. A volunteer is needed to monitor what is being thrown in the dumpster. Other upcoming events are:

Easter Egg Hunt on March 31

Blossoms on April 28

National Night Out on August 11. The first planning meeting is April 18 and volunteers are needed to make it happen in College Hill. Ardith volunteered to head it up and will try to find several others to help. Safe Streets will help and provide some funds, and several local businesses usually donate food. Some discussion was held on what activities could be planned for this year’s event.

The newsletter will be delivered in late March or early April.

Kat reported on her research into new flags for homes that would match the banners on 17th. The flags would cost about $45 each and those at the meeting felt that not many would buy them at that price. It was suggested that we take orders instead of buying 50 and then trying to sell them.

Susan Duffy distributed information about the Topeka Metro Long Range Transit Plan and encouraged those present to take the survey.

Susan also would like CH to purchase 2 more costumes of signers of the Declaration of Independence to use in the 4th of July parade and members agreed to the purchase.

Meeting Minutes – January 2018

Update by our neighborhood liaison TPD officer – our neighborhood has had an increase in car break-ins. There have been individuals roaming the neighborhood. Home break-ins are also on the rise. Additional precautions should be taken to lock your vehicles & your homes as well, along with leaving your lights on around your house. Removes items from view in your vehicles.

Treasurer’s report was approved.

The monument stones for College Hill will soon be installed.  Grant money helped with the costs. These will be placed on 17th Street between Washburn & MacVicar in the median.

Updates on the chili feed were given.
Volunteers to help during the event are still needed.  New banners are needed as the chili feed is being held at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

The Welcome Basket committee has been busy making baked goodies & delivering baskets. Ideas were exchanged on how to get information about new arrivals.

The Blossoms committee is looking for a new vendor for flowers & needing additional silent auction items.

The next recycling drive is set for March 10th.

Next round table meeting is Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 7:00 p.m.

Meeting Minutes – November 2017

PRESENT: Katrina Shaw (president), Sue Fackler, Tom Luellen (treasurer), Andy Fry, Brendan Jensen, Ardith Woertz, Carol & John Christenson, Susan Duffy, David Banks, Karen Robertson (secretary), guests Bill Riphahn, Darrell Stewart and Craig Duke.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Tom presented a written report which showed a balance of $31,135.63 and net revenue of $394.10 from the October Homes Tour.

BOSWELL PARK REPORT: Bill Riphahn and Darrell Stewart from the parks department were present at the meeting to report on plans for our neighborhood park and to take suggestions from the residents on things they would like to see done at the park. Bill gave some history of the park and the improvements that have been made there. He related that most of the goals for the park in the county’s master plan have been completed. Discussion followed laying out a list of suggestions:

  • Replace one of the baseball backstops that have disappeared
  • Fix the disintegrating sidewalks on the west side and trim the trees hanging over the sidewalk
  • Replace the trees that have died
  • Lights around the perimeter of the park for safety. Ward Meade NIA has new solar LED street lights
  • Tighten up the chain link fence that has gotten baggy in places
  • Make sure the county knows how much College Hill loves its park and how much value it adds to the neighborhood
  • Replace the grill that used to be on the east side
  • Fitness equipment possible?
  • Can the drinking fountain be repainted and maybe a dog watering station added?
  • The picnic tables need to be ADA compliant

Bill clarified that the park is part of a 100-year swap between USD 501 and the city.

Craig Duke is the new Topeka fire chief and is making the rounds of the NIA meetings to introduce himself and speak about his goals and plans for the fire department. He is pushing the department to pursue accreditation from CPSE, which involves meeting national standards on training, public education, etc. He would like to have a representative from each neighborhood to get together to create a community plan. David Banks said he is a former education person for the fire department and urged Craig to have the department go into schools more. Duke also suggested that we could include fire safety tips regularly in our publications. He mentioned the Heart Safe program which educates about CPR and defibrillators.

CHILI FEED: Kat had a chart of possible chili feed dates which don’t compete with basketball games and the group selected February 3 as the first choice and February 10th as the second choice. Kat will check with the Methodist church to see if one of those dates works. A flyer publicizing the chili feed will be distributed and it was suggested that a separate notice about recycling be included. (After the meeting, it was determined that University UMC could not host the chili feed so arrangements were made to hold it at Westminster Presbyterian on February 10.)

RECYCLING: The next recycling date is December 9 and a notice will be sent out by email and social media.

HOLIDAY DECORATIONS CONTEST: Kat and Erin Snethen and their sons will drive around on December 20 to judge houses and take photos.

JANUARY MEETING: Carol suggested moving the January meeting from the 15th to the 22nd as the 15th is the Martin Luther King celebration and some will want to be involved in that. Kat will check with the church to see if it is possible to hold our meeting on the 22nd.

With no further business, the meeting adjourned.

Annual Meeting Minutes -September 2017


September 18, 2017


Guest Speaker – Neighborhood Association president Katrina Shaw introduced Travis Tenbrink, assistant arborist with Topeka Public Works. He explained the purpose of the city’s tree program, which is to maintain the trees on public property and in the neighborhood right-of-way (between the sidewalks and the streets). That involves over 1200 miles of streets and 70-80,000 trees. There is someone on duty 24 hours a day to call if a tree or branch falls during the night.

Travis reported that there is more Dutch Elm Disease around the city this summer and also that Ash Borer Disease has been found in the city this June. He also gave some hints on caring for the mature trees found in College Hill – maintain a stable environment for the tree, provide plenty of water, don’t dig around the roots, and only trim dead wood, not green wood.

Community Officer Report – Officer Hendricks distributed a printed report of crime in the neighborhood, pointing out that the early morning hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the highest crime times. Some of the neighbors present asked Officer Hendricks about recent occurrences in the area – a burglary in the 1400 block of Jewell and reports of nighttime gunfire. The officer told the audience to be sure to email him of issues when they occur so he can justify asking for extra patrols. His email address is

Treasurer’s Report – Tom Luellen handed out a detailed report which listed a balance of $30,448.13 as of September 18.

Other Business – plans for the Wall of Fame and Homes Tour are well underway. There will be a few changes this year – the Wall presentation will be later in the afternoon and there will not be food as in previous years. Volunteers are needed for that event, for the Chili Feed and other neighborhood activities, and to start a Historic Committee.

The next neighborhood Round Table will be held November 20. After refreshments the meeting was adjourned.


Meeting Minutes – July 2017



Attending: Katrina Shaw, Jenny Odermatt, Tom Luellen, Erin Snethen, Susan Duffy, John Christensen, Ardith Woertz, Andy Fry with Ava, Officer Wall.


  1. Community Officer Update by Officer Wall.

Discussion of new stop signs.

No new crime in our neighborhood. Concerns expressed by the President. She observed four children (12-16 years old) walking down the alley.  They were looking in to her car through the window.  She called out from the house, to ask what they were doing.  The youth moved along without incident.  Congratulations to Officer Wall on his baby boy.

  1. Treasurer’s Report.


  1. Grant Update.

Waiting on approvals from the City and Washburn to put markers on 17th Street in the median.  Also, waiting on a response from the City Relations Department on the paperwork needed to be reimbursed for the barricades.

  1. July 4th Report.

Very Successful.  Recommendation: continue to purchase a set of historical patriotic costumes each year.  Reimbursement needed for the barricades ($938.00) and for bills that Susan Duffy submitted that she had advanced for the event.

  1. National Night Out Update.

August 5th, at 6:00 p.m.  The neighborhood received $100 from Safe Streets.  Movie night: we will watch Muppet Movie in the park.  Donated goods will include water, hot dogs and buns from Hy-vee, side dishes from Reser’s.  Twenty-five groups requested a bus for Stuff the Bus, but only 8 are available.  Groups who had a bus last year aren’t eligible this year.  Officer Wall will be stopping by around 9:00 p.m.

  1. Annual Meeting.

Will be Monday, September 18th at 7:00 p.m in the basement of the Westminster Presbyterian Church.  Board members should bring a dessert.

Matt, an arborist for the City of Topeka will speak.  There is a tree planting program through the City, they will plant maples in the right-of-ways for free.  They can also trim trees.  Ash borers are in the area.  The adults lay larva in the tree and the larva is what damages the tree.  Trees can be treated. Several neighbors attending discussed contacting Brown=s Tree Service for treatment.

Discussed forming a committee to evaluate seeking historical status for our neighborhood.

  1. Banners on Washburn

Each banner would cost $88.00, plus the purchase of the arm sets at $224.00 each.  This may be cost prohibitive.

  1. Other business.

Possible code compliance issue on Washburn.  Need to contact Monique with Community Engagement, for the City of Topeka Neighborhood Relations.

Next meeting is the Annual Meeting.

Newsletter should be out by September 4th.

Jenny volunteered to start the Welcome Wagon again.


Meeting Minutes – January 2017

PRESENT: Katrina Shaw (President), Ardith Woertz (Vice-President), Tom Luellen (Treasurer), Brendan Jensen, Erin Snethen, Sue Fackler, Karen Robertson (Secretary)

COMMUNITY OFFICERS’ UPDATE: Officers Wall and Frederichs were present. They reported that in College Hill and throughout the city there is an increase in auto theft because people are leaving their cars running to warm them up in the cold weather. Of the 23 crimes reported in College Hill since October 1, 1/3 are vehicle burglaries. Among other arrests are one at a drug house at 16th & College and one at 15th & Plass. Brendan asked what folks can do after reporting a crime while waiting for the police to arrive. The answer was to be a good witness – gather facts without putting yourself in danger.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Tom distributed a written report showing deposits of $553.25, disbursements of $185.89, for a balance of $28,945.42. There are calendars left and it was suggested that we offer them at a reduced price at the Chili Feed. There was also discussion about collecting information for the historical register process from attendees at the Chili Feed. Sue suggested forming a separate committee to manage the process of applying for historical register status. She also suggested asking Joyce Smith to head this committee. With the board’s approval, she will contact Joyce.

HOLIDAY DECORATING CONTEST: Katrina and Erin reported that they enjoyed touring the neighborhood with their children choosing winning homes. They posted many photos of decorated houses on the College Hill Facebook page.

CHILI FEED PREPARATION: Flyers are ready to distribute advertising the February 11 event. Several board members volunteered to pass out the flyers on their street and to work at the chili feed.

RECYCLING: Discussion was held on ways to increase participation. Flyers will be passed out with the chili feed flyers. A portable collection unit was also suggested.

NEWSLETTER: Erin asked for suggestions for newsletter articles and ideas brought out included Blossoms, the neighborhood cleanup, a list of numbers to call to get something done, reminders of what to do in your house and yard each season, and a column featuring neighborhood houses like had been done in the past.

OTHER ITEMS: Brendan told the group about a new city program called SeeClickFix, which can be used to report things in the city that need action. Brendan will see those reports and can follow up to be sure they are taken care of. Katrina asked Brendan to write a newsletter article about the program.

GARAGE SALE: The neighborhood garage sale will also be publicized in the newsletter. It was suggested that Cletus Linenburger be asked to organize the garage sale since he always participates in it.

HOUSE FLAGS: Katrina reported that she is working on getting more flags with the same design as the large ones on 17th Street. They will be non-fading and will include clips for hanging.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:10.

Meeting Minutes – March 2017

PRESENT: Community Officers Wall and Frederichs, Katrina Shaw (President), Erin Snethen, Sue Fackler, Tom Luellen (Treasurer), Brenden Jensen, Carol Christensen, Karen Robertson (Secretary)

Community Officers’ Update – printed reports were distributed and the officers pointed out the new format for those, with more graphics. Between January 1 and March 20, the leading crime in the neighborhood was again auto thefts, mostly caused by folks leaving their cars unattended while warming up. There were two assault cases and one drug case.

Treasurer’s Report – Tom’s written report showed deposits of nearly $1400 (mostly from the chili feed), disbursements of $407 (chili feed expenses), for a balance as of March 20 of $29,962.75. The chili feed was a success, with about 77 people attending.

College Hill Clean Up – dumpsters are reserved for the clean up on April 29. Ben Alford is coordinating the clean up – others are helping but more volunteers are needed.

Blossoms – the plant sale, auction and breakfast event will be May 13. They are looking for donations of gift cards and other items for the silent auction. If neighbors have plants to donate to the sale, they can be brought to the church at 6:00 p.m. on Friday.

Sue mentioned that she would like to form a committee to investigate ordering a large College Hill sign from Hutton Monuments to place on 17th Street. Brenden reported that he still has 3 other smaller stone signs in his yard that need to be placed somewhere. Sue will gather a committee to oversee all of this.

On a similar subject, the neighborhood flag at 17th and Boswell is missing. Brenden will ask the city to fix the broken pole and a new flag will be ordered.

Garage Sale – Carol Christensen will ask her neighbor Cletus if he would be willing to be a contact person for the Garage Sale as he always participates. We will publicize thru social media and signs. The tentative date is the second weekend in June, although some discussion was held about the weekend before when the Art Fair on campus is scheduled since that draws so many to the area.

National Night Out – the date for the event is August 5. The movie last year was a big hit so we will repeat that. Katrina moved that we buy an inflatable screen with the $200 grant from Safe Streets instead of renting one each year. Brenden seconded the motion and it passed. Food for the event is usually donated; we need to be sure that will happen this year before we spend the Safe Streets money on something else. Many volunteers are needed to set up, serve food, and clean up.

Newsletter – Erin passed around a draft of the next newsletter, which will be distributed by volunteers again in late March or early April.

Recycling – about $66 was raised in the last recycling drive – an improvement over the previous one. Discussion was held about ways to encourage folks to participate more, including signs, more use of social media, emphasizing that it is a fundraiser for the neighborhood, etc.

Other business – Sue reported that Joyce Smith isn’t able to serve as chair of a historic process group; she suggested that the issue be brought up at the annual meeting and see if anyone is interested.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting is May 15.

Meeting Minutes – May 2017

PRESENT: Community Officer Wall, Katrina Shaw (President), Susan Duffy, Erin Snethen, Sue Fackler, Ardith Woertz, Tom Luellen (Treasurer), Brendan Jensen, Carl Broxterman, Andy Fry & daughter, Karen Robertson (Secretary)

COMMUNITY OFFICER’S REPORT: Officer Wall spoke of the recent homicide at the apartment building on 15th Street near Garfield and the Mexican Taco Shop robbery – both crimes committed by 2 males in hoodies on bicycles. Hoodies in warm summer weather may be a tip-off to someone trying to hide their identity – he reminded us to be on the lookout for that. People on bicycles have also been seen casing out the vacant house at 15th and Boswell, and squatters have been found there. Burglary reports are usually up in the summertime so residents need to keep things locked up and be aware. Officer Wall reported that both he and Officer Frederich will be on family leave for most of the summer as their wives are expecting babies in the same week!

TREASURER’S REPORT: Tom reported a balance of $29,704.96 as of May 9. This doesn’t include the results of the Blossoms event the previous weekend. He distributed a separate report for Blossoms which showed profits of at least $1573,96 from the event, and several hundred dollars worth of payments are yet to be counted. Sue Fackler commented that these receipts are up considerably from previous years.

GRANT DISCUSSION: Katrina has a proposal written for applying for a grant from the city to help cover the cost of the barricades needed for the July 4 parade. Susan reported that more barricades may be required than we thought – she offered to check on the actual cost and also to apply for the permit for our “processional.”

Katrina reported that she is also thinking of applying for a second grant for College Hill signs in the median strip on 17th Street. Susan & Sue have investigated limestone ones for about $500 each.

GARAGE SALE: The neighborhood garage sale will be June 1-4. Planning is going well. Nancy Cottrill has garage sale signs if anyone needs one. There are at least 10 small signs – Brendan will look into acquiring larger signs for 17th Street. There won’t be a newspaper ad – relying on  signs and social media.

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT: We haven’t heard yet how much money neighborhoods will get to put on the events. Reser’s and HyVee have confirmed that they will provide food.

FOURTH OF JULY: The fire trucks, large flag, etc. are all being arranged for this year’s parade.

RECYCLING: July 8 is the next recycling drive. A reminder will be included in the flyer that will be passed out about the July 3-4 events.

OTHER BUSINESS: Susan suggested a program idea for the annual neighborhood meeting in September. She thinks it would be informative to have the city arborist or someone knowledgeable speak about trees – the ash borer threat, caring for the older trees in the neighborhood, etc.

Carl asked if College Hill flags could be added along Washburn Avenue like the ones on 17th Street. Brendan will look into it.

Finally, the group was reminded that Sarah Meadows has the leftover plants from the Blossoms sale and they can be picked up on her front porch.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be July 17.