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COVID-19 calls down in Newmarket, complaints of old on rise

Town bylaw kept busy with growing grievances about parking violations, garbage, and tall grass
File photo/Village Media

It appears the COVID-19 pendulum is swinging back to near-normal as calls to the Town of Newmarket’s customer service department are increasingly about typical complaints such as parking enforcement, garbage, and tall grass, according to the June 22 to 28 bylaw report.

“Overall, bylaw officers switched focus over the weekend to monitor the splash pads and outdoor patios, as well as respond to growing complaints from the community regarding parking violations,” a town spokesperson said.

Groups of teenagers continue to be monitored on still-closed basketball courts in town, along with skateboarders at Riverwalk Commons, an activity that is not permitted there. Both continue to be a concerning trend for bylaw, staff noted.

The town’s focus on education with respect to the pandemic restrictions of physical distancing and social gatherings continues with no tickets issued for violations under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, the fines for which start at $750.

Between June 22 and 28, parks complaints dropped to 27 (from 34 the previous week), calls about businesses running afoul of pandemic rules remained steady at nine, and physical distancing grievances came in at an all-time low of just three complaints.

During this same period, bylaw enforcers conducted 134 park patrols, noted 1,539 interactions and observations with the public, and issued a record low of 39 warnings through public education for voluntary compliance of the COVID-19 rules.