Corp Comm Connects

$40-million price tag to build Newmarket's Mulock Property won't fall on taxpayers

Taxpayers still paying $47 a year for 30 years to purchase property
May 10, 2021
Lisa Queen

The price tag for turning Mulock Property into a landmark community gathering place is $40 million.

However, the estimated budget for construction costs and costs for project management, design, contract administration and other supporting studies will not fall on taxpayers.

The majority of the funding will come from development charges, the fees put on new construction projects to pay for new infrastructure, such as roads, sewers and recreation facilities, said financial services director Mike Mayes.

The rest will come from grants, he added.

But before taxpayers think they’re off the hook, don’t forget the cost of buying the property is on the property tax bill.

When the town bought the 11.6-acre property at the northwest corner of Yonge Street and Mulock Drive for $24 million, council voted to add $47 a year for 30 years on the average assessed home in Newmarket, Mayes said.

On April 21, the final draft master plan was presented to councillors, who deferred making a decision to take extra time to ensure all funding options are sustainable and responsible, a town statement said.

Residents will be able to start enjoying the prominent site when it is expected to open to the public in 2024-25.

“The park is a combination of preservation of the natural features and a series of enhancements that includes art, recreation, education, community gathering and garden/landscape experiences,” the town’s statement said.

Highlights of the project include a riverine fountain, which would be creeklike interactive water feature, a bridge entryway art feature, a skate pond and skating trail, wet plaza, walking trails, conservatory and diversity gardens, historic gardens, artist studio and tree playground that will connect to Jim Bond Park.

The design comes after an extensive two-year community consultation process.

“The community engagement we’ve had with the Mulock Property has been extraordinary, and we thank the thousands of residents and community partners who have created this master plan, born truly from community feedback,” Mayor John Taylor said.

“This is our shared vision for the future of this landmark property that will act as a gathering place for our community, our friends, families and future generations.”