Deal not signed with city

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 2, 2008

NATCHEZ — The walls are painted, the appliances are installed — produce has even been purchased.

Fat Mama’s is ready to open.

David Gammill, the restaurant’s owner, said he is currently putting the finishing touches on the building.

Email newsletter signup

Gammill said he hopes to be open for business within the month.

“We’re looking forward to it,” he said.

But while Gammill is looking toward the future, a compromises requested by the mayor in early-July concerning aspects of the building’s aesthetics has still not been signed.

At the July 9 meeting of the Natchez Board of Aldermen Fat Mama’s representatives sought approval for a certificate of occupancy.

However the Natchez Planning Commission raised questions over aspects of street access, parking and green space conversion.

As a result Fat Mama’s was granted a conditional occupancy permit, provided a compromise could be reached.

Later in the month Gammill said a compromise has been reached “in principle.”

However, as of Friday the deal has still not been finalized.

Gammill’s attorney Bob Latham said the proposed compromise has been drafted and sent to the city’s attorney, Everett Sanders.

Latham said he sent the documents to Sanders weeks ago for Sanders to distribute among those who need to sign the contract.

The documents have yet to be signed.

Sanders could not be reached for comment.

“This should not stop the opening,” Latham said of the unsigned contract.

But when the contract could possibly be signed is a mystery.

City Planner John Lewis’ signature is required on the compromise.

Lewis he only received a copy of the compromise proposal on Tuesday and had just begun to review the document.

Mayor Jake Middleton’s signature is also required on the document.

On Friday he said he had yet to look at it and was not sure if he had even received a copy.

Lewis also said the Natchez Planning Commission and the Natchez Preservation Commission also need to sign off on the compromise.

The chairmen of the committees could not be reached for comment.

Ed Godfrey, vice chair of the planning commission, said the Fat Mama’s issue was not even discussed at the commission’s monthly meeting on Thursday.

Gammill said he has no idea when the compromise will be signed.

But Gammill is not letting the unsigned compromise slow his work.

“We’re moving forward,” he said. “I want to get this done as soon as possible.”