The owners of the Ultramar gas station and convenience store near Trans-Canada Highway Exit 506 have abandoned their plans for a fast-food restaurant with a drive-thru window.
Instead, Wendy and Kelly Alder are now selling natural gas as a fuel for RVs, couriers and other fleet vehicles as well as cars and trucks that have been converted to burn propane.
Just over a year ago, a majority of Sackville councillors voted to uphold the town’s 2001 bylaw banning further drive-thru windows in the highway commercial zone. At the time, the Alders were hoping to get the bylaw amended allowing them to open a Robin’s Donuts drive-thru at their Tantramar Gas Bar.
Councillors seemed more receptive to reviewing the bylaw last fall, but voted to delay any decision on another drive-thru pending further study of the infrastructure needed for business development near Exit 506. The town has yet to seek bids on the study, but says it will do that soon.
No more jobs
After this week’s town council meeting, Wendy Alder told Warktimes that the revenue generated from selling auto propane should be enough to replace income that could have come from a drive-thru restaurant, but without any more jobs.
She said a fast-food restaurant would have employed six people. The Ultramar currently employs five full-time and four part-time workers.
Alder also pointed out that a fast-food restaurant would have required a $200,000 investment while Rainville Propane Gas installed the auto pump off Bridge Street at its own expense.
Exit 506 beautification
At Monday’s meeting, town council voted to award a $20,700 contract to Beach Hill Landscaping Inc. to beautify the east and westbound off-ramps at Exit 506. The work will include selectively pruning and removing trees as well as planting rose bushes, but there is no money in this year’s budget for planting wildflowers along the off-ramps.