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Thursday, January 5, 2012

New KV Liquor Store Set To Open Late Summer

As soon as August, you may be buying your wine and beer in a brand new location.
A new 11,000 square foot NB Liquor selection store will be built next to the KV Superstore meaning the small outlet inside the Superstore and the Quispamsis location will close.
NB Liquor Communications Officer Marcelle Sonier tells CHSJ News it will feature a wine-sampling unit.

She tells us it's a little machine with 5 to 6 bottles of wine and you pay per ounce then you can sample the wine without having to buy a bottle.

Construction is set to start in April with an opening planned for late summer.

Business Optimism Flags as Small Business Owners Wait for Budget

Holding their breath--that's what policy analyst Richard Dunn says small businesses are doing as they wait for the next provincial budget.

Dunn tells CHSJ news that the latest survey data from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business rates the business confidence in the province at at 59.8%. That's below the national average of 65%.

He says that if the Alward government has to make any tough calls for small businesses, they're likely to do so this time around.

Dunn says that uncertainty is having an effect on people's optimism, and adds that rising fuel and energy prices have also been weighing heavily on small business owner's minds.

Mayor Argues Maintaining City Infrastructure Is No Joke

Most of the reaction on Facebook and elsewhere to the idea of imposing congestion tax on suburban commuters to help pay for the upkeep of roads in the city appears to be negative. Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop has told us some people in the town told him it's a joke.

Regardless of that, Mayor Ivan Court tells CHSJ News there has to be a new way found to make sure the city has enough money to operate because how it's done now is unsustainable.

Court says Saint John has a population of 68 thousand but when you boil it down further, out of that total, there might be 23 thousand actually bearing the tax load and the numbers just don't add up.

Farren Says City Needs Policy on City-Owned Vehicles

Confused--that's how Councillor Bill Farren sees the policy--or lack of policy--on city-owned vehicles. A December report on the city's 350-vehicle fleet showed that some city staff were using the vehicles for frivolous things like running errands.

Farren insisting in common council Tuesday night that the guidelines need to be more clear, since city employees seem confused about when it is appropriate to use the vehicles.

He wants some sort of policy to be put in place by no later than the first council meeting in March.

RCMP Bust Driver With Pot and Cash On Highway 7

The Mounties in Sussex and Grand Bay-Westfield want your help with a couple of recent crimes.

In Dairytown, RCMP are looking for whoever smashed a bunch of windows in a parked school bus on Leonard Drive in Sussex sometime between December 30th and January 2nd.

Meanwhile, a Grand Bay-Westfield RCMP officer pulling over a driver on Highway 7 last night found almost a kilo of marihuana and $400 after a search of the vehicle.    A 22-year-old man from Dumphries was released but will be in court at a later date to face drug trafficking charges.

If you have information on either crime, call the RCMP at 506-433-7070 or call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Man Accused In North End Slaying Back In Court

Another brief court appearance for 50 year old Stephen Wallace Martin who's charged in the death last month of 70 year old Robert Ryan. 

His body was found after a fire at 374 Mount Pleasant Avenue North on December 20th.
City Police called it a homicide and issued a warrant for Martin's arrest. He was taken into custody shortly before Christmas. 

Martin has elected to be tried by judge and jury with a return date of January 17th at which time a date will be set to hold a preliminary hearing which will determine if there is enough evidence to hold a trial. 

The defense was pressing the judge to make sure Martin got his glasses back so he could read the evidence against him. The glasses had been seized by police as evidence.

Congestion Tax Called 'A Joke"

Not my problem.......That's what Rothesay Mayor Bill Bishop says about a proposed congestion tax on suburban commuters who drive into the uptown core. 

He calls it a joke and could very well be the worst idea he has ever heard for generating revenue. 

Bishop sees it as nothing more than posturing for the upcoming election and says a far better idea would be to increase fees to park uptown but Common Councillor Bruce Court isn't crazy about that suggestion believing it will just drive people to the malls where they can park anywhere they want free of charge.

Gas Prices Are Up

You'll be paying a bit more for gas after the weekly setting. 

Self serve regular in the city has risen by half a cent a litre and is being sold for $1.23.4 while diesel is a cent a litre higher at $1.33.9. 

The maximum price for heating oil is $1.16.2 while for propane it's $1.10.2 a litre.