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Head of Austrian group of landowners dies in skiing accident

Clemens Goess-Saurau's family one of largest landowners in Hall

POSTED: January 29, 2008 5:03 a.m.
The head of an Austrian family group that is one of the largest landowners in Hall County has died as a result of injuries suffered in a skiing accident.

Clemens Goess-Saurau, 52, was killed Jan. 10 in Austria. Goess-Saurau represented the interests of the Mayr-Melnhof family, which owns the 7,000-acre Glades Woodland Farms in North Hall County.

Goess-Saurau is the uncle of Felix and Ferdinand Mayr-Melnhof, who recently received zoning approval for a major residential community near the intersection of Ga. 365 and Ga. 52 in Northeast Hall County.

He followed his brother, Franz Mayr-Melnhof, who was killed in a 1993 accident as the family representative for the property, which was originally purchased by their father, Carl Anton Goess-Saurau.

"Clemens was a visionary with a heart of gold," said Carl Nichols of Athens, who managed the property for the family. "He truly loved Hall County and the entire Northeast Georgia region. With the Glades reservoir project, he was committed to developing a legacy that would benefit Hall Countians for many generations."

In 2001, the county purchased 805 acres of the Glades Woodland Farms for a reservoir that is expected to yield 4.5 million gallons of water per day. The county, in turn, agreed to lease the property back to the previous owners for timber operations with a 15-year option on building the reservoir.

The reservoir has been on hold because of the ongoing dispute between Georgia, Florida and Alabama over water issues on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system. If built, the reservoir would cost $15 to $18 million with permitting and construction costs to be paid by the Mayr-Melnhof Holding Co.

Nichols said the family would continue to be involved in pursuing Goess-Saurau’s vision for the project with the reservoir.

"I can think of no better tribute than to see his dreams fulfilled," Nichols said.

Goess-Saurau is survived by his wife and two sons.



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