Cat House owner says city fighting his expansion - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Cat House owner says city fighting his expansion

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BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) -

BAY ST LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - A restaurant owner says he's in a battle with Bay St. Louis City Hall to keep his temporary beach front business going, until he can build a permanent home for Daniel's Restaurant.

The Cat House has become a popular place to grab a burger or seafood lunch. Ray Murphy ran Dan B's Restaurant on the beach for years before Hurricane Katrina destroyed his business. Unable to rebuild yet, he opened mobile restaurant to get back in business.

"We've been up on that beach for 35 years. And for almost six years, we haven't been able to do anything to generate any money to pay those taxes, but yet they keep having to be paid," Murphy said.

The city allowed Murphy to operate in a city parking area in-front of his property, since the seawall construction blocked access to his property. Now Murphy is asking the city for permission to add a power pole, so he doesn't have to run his restaurant off a generator.

"The Mayor is fighting me on it. He doesn't want to give me temporary power service. His excuse is the Corps of Engineers don't want us over there. Well, the corp has signed off on it. They actually showed me where I can put a pole anywhere on my property up there."

"They've informed us to the fact that they've had verbal indications that a power pole could be set within the confines of their own property," said Mayor Les Fillingame. "But we haven't had that officially from the Corps of Engineers. If we get any kind of official notification, we would probably consider it."

Murphy said city leaders have also balked at the idea of him adding a mobile dinning room to his beach front operation.

"When I renewed my permit, the mayor asked me not to expand my operation. He means, he doesn't want me bringing this dining room up there," Murphy said.

"We're not really in the position to allow them to get into an expansion mode in the middle of the right of way," Fillingame said.

"All I'm asking for is a little latitude," Murphy said. "Leave us alone, give us what we need to operate until we can build back."

Mayor Fillingame said the city has not been presented a formal request from Murphy to expand the operation. He said if that happens, the request would be considered by the city council.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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