WARREN, NJ - The ribbon has been cut. The East County Turf Field officially opened on Sunday with help from Watchung Hills Pop Warner Wolverine players, cheerleaders, parents, coaches and a who’s who of Warren, Somerset County, New Jersey, and Pop Warner dignitaries.
Warren Mayor Vic Sordillo, Deputy Mayor Gary DiNardo, Committeewoman Carolann Garafola and Committeemen Mick Marion and George Lazo were joined by former Gov. Donald DiFrancesco, Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, Somerset County Freeholders Patrick Scaglione, Brian Levine, Patricia Walsh, Mark Caliguire, and Brian Gallagher.
Also joining in the festivities were Warren Township Administrator Mark Krane, Warren Township Recreation Director Joe Passaro, Somerset County Park Commissioner DJ Hunsinger, and Jon Butler, President of Pop Warner National.
Bramnick tweeted,”Very proud to join with Warren Township officials and Somerset County Freeholders for the opening of the new football complex. A public private partnership. Success from working together”
Watchung Hills Pop Warner President Andy Marion introduced the speakers after Rosemary Orsillo sang the National Anthem.
Mayor Sordillo told the crowd that he played football just yesterday with his grandson Wyatt. He thanked the “brains behind all of this,” Passaro, Lazo and Mick Marion to name a few.
Replacement of the artificial turf at the East County field on Stirling Road, under construction over the summer, was completed in time for the start of the 2018 season.
The cost of the field to be resurfaced is estimated at approximately $401,000 with just about $26,000 coming from the township already collected from residents through its open space trust fund. The remaining $375,000 will be paid by Somerset County.
The turf field is located in the county-owned East County Park preserve and has been in use since 2006. Watchung Hills Pop Warner pays for annual field maintenance, however the field is also used by Warren Middle School boys and girls soccer teams, Warren Middle School gym classes, Watchung Hills Soccer Association, and Hills Lacrosse Club.
And as a county facility, it is also open to the general public. The field is marked with lines for soccer, lacrosse, and football.