Wildlife Park Relocating

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In June the Holmes County Development Commission signed a deal to sell 790 acres of land to Jim Fowler to create his life in the wild, Wildlife Park.

Just two months later, the deal has been terminated.

"The Holmes County Development Commission has elected to terminate our contract with the Fowler Center," said Lenora Campbell of the Holmes County Development Council.

The development commission says it wanted to maintain some control on the property so it could make sure it was used for the contracted purpose, but Fowler's group said its investors wouldn't allow that stipulation, and the deal broke.

"The only problem we had was with the contract language and they wanted control of the property," said Fowler representative Bill Hardy.

Thursday the commission returned Fowler's $50,000 deposit check for the property, but Fowler's group says this won't set back stop the park from moving ahead as planned.

"It's just one piece of property to work with and it's a beautiful property, but we still got surrounding property to work with. We're working full steam ahead," said Hardy.

Fowler's group now plans to build the park on 6,000 acres of land right next door. Both Fowler and his development group, Blue Dolphin II, say they feel it's important to keep the project in Holmes County.

"We may still try to work with Holmes County on the land. We still plan to work with Holmes County and Washington County on the project," said Barbara Farris, president of Blue Dolphin II.

The group plans to open the wildlife park and an adjacent 15,000 seat amphitheater within the next two years.

The group plans to open a small employment office on sight in the next year. The park is supposed to create 1,800 jobs.