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Elizabethton and Minnesota Twins once again talking about Joe O'Brien Field renovations

John Thompson • May 8, 2018 at 11:15 PM

ELIZABETHTON — After months of inactivity, the Minnesota Twins and Elizabethton officials are again working toward renovations to Joe O’Brien Field, the home of the Elizabethton Twins of the Appalachian League.

“I thought we had a positive meeting,” said Elizabethton Mayor Curt Alexander after a more than two-hour meeting held in the conference room at the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Center on Mill Street.

Dan Starkey, senior director of ballpark development for the Twins, and Jeremy Zoll, director of Minor League operations, attended the meeting, along with lead architect Bruce Miller of the Kansas City-based Populous architectural and design firm.

Alexander attended the meeting, also with City Councilman Wes Frazier. Also at the meeting were Elizabethton Twins General Manager Mike Mains and longtime Elizabethton Twins and Elizabethton Parks and Recreation employee David McQueen.

Much of the meeting covered the electrical, water, sewer and stormwater regulations for additions and renovations to the stated, including a new clubhouse. Elizabethton department heads attended the meeting to discuss the requirements. Elizabethton officials included Rob Toney, general manager of the Electric Department, and Johann Coetzee of Elizabethton Water Resources.

Also in attendance was City Attorney Roger Day and Richard Barker of the Elizabethton Twins Task Force.

The department heads answered questions on topics ranging from electrical service to sewer and stormwater drainage and telecommunications and fiber optics.

McQueen presented Miller with many preliminary plans for the proposed layout of the field after renovations.

“It is obvious you have been doing a lot of work,” Miller said of the plans.

After the meeting, the men continued less formal discussions over barbecue. More talks are scheduled for today.

The renewed talks provided hope to fans that the Minnesota Twins might remain in Elizabethton, where they have fielded an Appalachian League team since 1974.

Frazier said he recently had a conversation with a senior Twins executive and found him to be very interested in continuing the long-standing relationship that has produced 11 Appalachian League titles.

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