TOPEKA (KSNT) – A new mowing program has been announced by the City of Topeka as part of its Changing Our Culture of Property Maintenance Initiative on Tuesday.

Currently, the City of Topeka is on the lookout for proposals from qualified businesses, organizations or individuals to develop and run a community mowing service pilot program. The program will provide mowing services for underserved neighborhoods by developing a fixed, and affordable rate model.

The pilot program will primarily be used in Topeka’s low and moderate income neighborhoods and by those living in Neighborhood Improvement Association areas. The City will provide up to $25,000 to help develop the program. Once it’s operational, they’ll work to make it self-sustaining and independent from city financial support.

Topeka will host a pre-proposal meeting on Thursday, May 19, at 10 a.m. at the Holliday Building for potential bidders to learn about the program initiative.

“This summer, mowing will be our first action initiative,” said City Councilwoman Karen Hiller. “The goal is to get as many properties as possible mowed, not just one time, but for the season and with a sustainable future plan. Watch for further developments with the initiative, including volunteer opportunities for neighbors, families, churches, businesses, organizations, and more to get engaged with helping residents with mowing!”

The Changing Our Culture of Property Maintenance Initiative is a five-year plan created by the Topeka City Council’s Public Health and Safety Committee. The initiative is a collective effort by City of Topeka departments, the Topeka City Council and the community in an effort to improve property condition, reduce substandard housing, motivate property owners to care for their properties and encourage investment in vacant and deteriorated properties.

The Changing Our Culture of Property Maintenance Initiative has been championed by Hiller and fellow City Councilwoman Christina Valdivia-Alcala.

“We are so encouraged with the possibilities of the initiative for both the City of Topeka and our neighbors across the city,” Valdivia-Alcala said. “It’s vital we all lean in towards each other to help re-create neighborhoods and community – this is the time.”

For more information on the Changing Our Culture of Property Maintenance Initiative, click here.