Jan 3, 2020 4:48 PM By: Kim Champion
New police station, manufacturing summit among highlights of new year for Newmarket
Also coming in 2020 is a new way to dispute parking tickets, new look for Blue Door
With the new year comes new plans and initiatives for Newmarket. NewmarketToday talked to some local organizations about what’s ahead in 2020.
York Regional Police
Newmarket’s new #1 District headquarters is expected to break ground in spring 2020.
Construction of the 429 Harry Walker Parkway building is scheduled to begin in May, with completion slated for fall/winter of 2021, York Regional Police Sgt. Andy Pattenden said.
Funding for the new facility was provided in the force’s 2020 budget, which includes a $42.4-million capital budget, a capital spending authority for multiple-year projects of $57.4 million, and an operating budget of $348 million.
York police will also add 34 additional members to the service in 2020 to meet the demands of growth and increasing workload pressures in the areas of district operations, support services, operational command, staff services, financial services and corporate development.
This year’s capital budget will also provide funding for the marine unit headquarters, land acquisition for a future substation in west Vaughan, as well as the annual purchase of vehicles, information technology equipment and other specialized equipment.
Only three days into the new decade and there’s plenty afoot at the non-profit organization that has been providing safe, supportive emergency housing and services for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless for nearly 40 years.
In January, Blue Door will formally announce its new brand and logo, which includes shortening its name to Blue Door, chief executive officer Michael Braithwaite said.
The organization also launched its three-year strategic plan on Jan. 1, which aims to house 3,000 people in three years, he added.
An official launch of Blue Door’s new construction social enterprise known as Construct will follow in the spring. That program, funded by the Ontario government in partnership with Liuna Local 506 and the YMCA, will provide training and work experience for 32 youth aged 18 and over to break into the skilled trades industry as apprentices in its first year.
“We’re already hoping to expand,” Braithwaite said, adding that participants will earn between $21 and $28 an hour.
With regard to efforts at preventing and ending homelessness, Braithwaite said the organization is working with Parks Canada to explore refurbishing some of its vacant housing stock to create longer-term affordable housing with supports for families and men. That initiative is made possible with funding from the P. and L. Odette Charitable Foundation.
The community is invited to join Blue Door on Feb. 22, 2020, as it participates in the national Coldest Night of the Year walk to raise money for programs run out of its three locations, including Kevin’s Place for youth, Porter Place for men, and Leeder Place for families.
“Our new national podcast by Blue Door, called Out of the Blue, will continue with amazing guests from across the country each week, including MP Adam Vaughan, who is the federal lead on housing and homelessness, and many, many more,” Braithwaite said.
Newmarket Chamber of Commerce.
A first-of-its-kind manufacturing summit is coming to York Region mid-2020, thanks to the newly formed York Region Business Coalition (YRBC).
The YRBC is led by the Newmarket and Vaughan chambers, and includes all the region’s business organizations.
The manufacturing summit will be its first major event that aims to engage the manufacturing community across the region and shine a spotlight on the issues and challenges it faces, said Abdus Samad, YRBC spokesperson and the Newmarket chamber’s government relations and policy manager.
“York Region’s manufacturing cluster is, according to statistics, the fifth largest cluster in Canada, and it’s very important to Ontario’s growth, not only in Newmarket, but throughout the region and the province,” Samad said.
Also on the radar for 2020 is the chamber’s annual Newmarket Home and Lifestyle Show, which is the largest in York Region with 150 exhibitors and more than 5,000-plus attendees. This year’s show is scheduled for April 3 to 5. More details will follow closer to the date.
Beginning in early 2020, the town will roll out what’s known as an administrative monetary penalty system (AMPS) for the payment of parking tickets and will handle disputes in-house.
Residents will no longer have to trek over to the Eagle Street courthouse to dispute a ticket.
AMPS is a municipally administered program that replaces the current court system with a faster, more flexible and customer-focused adjudication process for bylaw offences. One of the main objectives of an AMPS program is to create a simple, accessible, fair and cost-effective system of dealing with bylaw violations.
Through the AMPS model, the town will have governance over hearing processes, scheduling dates, and providing timely reviews for all disputes brought forward.
Newmarket joins Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, Brampton, Burlington, Hamilton, and Oshawa, in using this model to handle parking ticket payments and disputes.
Newmarket public transit riders and drivers alike could see reduced travel times and less congestion on local roads as the new 2.4-kilometre Yonge Street rapidway opens Sunday, Jan. 5.
That Yonge rapid transit line runs from Savage Road/Sawmill Valley Drive to the Davis Drive rapidway, making connections to the GO train station, bus routes and the Davis Drive and Highway 404 Park & Ride.