GONZALES — The city of Gonzales hosted an auction July 15 that will provide a substantial economic boost for the city’s sales tax collections, Mayor Barney Arceneaux said, though city officials are still not sure how much money they will see from the sales.
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, a Houston company that liquidates heavy machinery assets, approached the city when one of its client contractors finished work on a levee project in New Orleans, Gulf Coast regional manager Alan McVickers said.
The auction was held at a location near the intersection of Interstate 10 and La. 44 in Gonzales, owned by a customer of Ritchie Bros.
“We were looking for a site outside of New Orleans,” McVickers said. The landowner offered to rent the site to Ritchie Bros. for the auction.
That got the ball rolling, McVickers said, but the site’s proximity to both the interstate and the Mississippi River and its central location between Baton Rouge and New Orleans made it more attractive.
“The auction was very successful,” he said. “It was a win-win for everybody.”
Bidders representing all 50 states, 46 foreign countries and nine Canadian provinces participated in the auction, both on-site and through the company’s website, McVickers said.
Arceneaux said the company may use the site for a second auction in November.
McVickers said that is a possibility, though no firm plans have been made to do so. “We’re also looking at sites in Baton Rouge,” he said.