http://www.chipleypaper.com/news/contract_425___article.html/hardy_fowler.html Fowler contract signed, binder paid Jay Felsberg, Managing Editor 2007-08-07 20:47:00 Holmes County Development Commission approved a contract with Jim Fowler?s Parks and Wildlife Services (PAWS) for sale of 786 acres of Commission and around Smith Lake for $3.256 million. Action was taken at the Commission?s regular meeting Tuesday night. If concluded, the contract will provide land for Fowler?s ?Life in the Wild? project, a combined wild animal park and education center in Holmes County. PAWS was represented by Bill Hardy, who brought $25,000 in earnest money and signed the contract on behalf of Fowler, who was not present. The contract is nearly identical to an earlier contract signed by the Commission and PAWS for sale of the property, which expired in July. The contract was approved at the July Committee meeting, but was changed to make the original provision for payment of $25,000 for every 30-day extension to 90 days. ?That?s standard in a contract like that,? said ?Project Jim? Committee Chairman Bud Riviere. ?I belive the contract is in concert with the desires of this board.? The contract was approved by an 11-2 vote, with Development Committee members Scott Prescott and Eddie Paul voting no. Hardy said that a major press conference would be scheduled over the next few weeks to describe the project. ?If you were impressed before, wait until you see what we have now,? Hardy said. Hardy said that PAWS was finalizing other contracts and expected to close on the Smith Lake property just south of Interstate 10 over the next 30-90 days. Hardy also said that a few issues have to be worked out with Blue Dolphin II, a former backer of the project. Hardy said he could not comment on those issues officially, but said they did not involve this contract.