GONZALES — The Gonzales City Council has cleared the way to exempt the local campus of the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center from a portion of the city's sales tax for the purchase, lease or repair of capital equipment and the software needed for that equipment.

The cancer treatment center, which opened in 2009 in partnership with Our Lady of the Lake Ascension, formerly St. Elizabeth Hospital, had requested last month that its capital purchases in the city limits be exempt from any portion of the city's 2 percent sales tax not obligated to other purposes.

That would be an exemption of 1½ cents on every dollar spent if the Mary Bird Perkins request is approved, which appears likely, at the July 22 City Council meeting.

In Gonzales, the remaining half-cent of the 2 percent sales tax is obligated for wastewater system improvements.   

The City Council on Monday approved a resolution in support of the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center request, citing Louisiana law regarding such exemptions for radiation treatment centers.

Also on Monday, City Engineer Jackie Baumann reported that the water meter replacements for commercial and residential customers, a project started in January, is wrapping up. 

The new water-meter system will allow the city to read meters remotely, quickly identify and repair water leaks, and turn water meters off remotely, Baumann has said.

She said the city's staff has worked to iron out and correct a few kinks in the billing system, as the new meters have come on line, but that it is going well. 

The city will now be embarking on a new project to replace gas meters, Baumann said. 


Email Ellyn Couvillion at ecouvillion@theadvocate.com.