Director says Topeka should discuss privatizing city's zoo

June 04, 2019 - 5:43 am

The Topeka Zoo's director says city officials should discuss turning its operations over to a private, nonprofit group.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Director Brendan Riley says having Friends of the Topeka Zoo oversee operations would allow the zoo to grow without risking higher property taxes.

Mayor Michelle De La Isla and the City Council plan to hear a presentation Tuesday on privatizing the zoo.

De La Isla said during a news conference last week that she's not necessarily opposed to the idea but any action has to been well thought out.

The city has operated the zoo in largest park since the 1930s and is responsible for staffing and day-to-day operations.

The Friends group formed in 1964. It provides support for the zoo and handles fundraising for major projects.

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