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Saugus program in search of sponsors

SAUGUS – In the basement of Town Hall, amid the more officious departments, there’s an adoption agency of sorts in search of sponsors.The Adopt-a-Site program is coordinated by Michele Wendell, who also works as the town’s purchasing agent. Here’s how it works: Businesses agree to beautify and maintain one of the 27 designated sites around town in exchange for advertising their company name at the location.In the past, the more than two dozen sites easily found patrons but, in these dour economic times, the adoption list is short by six.”We need six businesses to step forward before Memorial Day so that all the sites will look beautiful,” said Wendell, who is disseminating a leaflet with information about the program.According to Wendell, the program is designed to beautify the town’s traffic rotaries, island intersections, key buildings, parks and other landmarks. As she puts it, spring and summer are prime times for making Saugus “a clean, green and a beautiful place to live, work and play.”The six orphan sites include the War Memorial, the Roby School Department building and adjacent annex, Glen Park on Lincoln Avenue, the Youth and Recreation building on Central Street and the small island at the corner of Main and Howard streets.”Last year was the first time since the program started more than a decade ago that the Roby building had no sponsor and this year is the first time the War Memorial doesn’t have one,” said Wendell. “We had a bench and flowers put in by a landscaper last year at the War Memorial.”Wendell said those businesses agreeing to adopt a site enter into a memorandum of understanding with the town. Among the stipulations is getting the respective site ready before the start of Memorial Day weekend:u Engaging in a spring cleanup of the grounds by April 25;u Trimming shrubs by early May;u Mowing grass as needed;u Planting flowers by late May;u Ensuring the site is properly landscaped, mulched, mowed and rid of weeds by May 23.The Department of Public Works will coordinate turning on sprinklers, said Wendell, adding that artificial or commercial objects should not be incorporated into the landscaping at the site.Sponsors are also responsible for debris removal at the end of the season.In return for such responsibilities, the sponsors are allowed to post a business advertising sign at the site. However, the sign must be purchased from Sachem Signs so that it resembles all other commercial signs used in the program.”The goal is to have all the sites looking their best before Memorial Day and that is coming up very quickly,” Wendell said. “We’re hoping some other businesses will be interested in the program, especially the War Memorial because there will be a ceremony there for the veterans on that weekend.”Wendell noted in some cases, the business will hire a landscaper to do the actual work.Anyone interested in adopting a site should contact Wendell at 781-231-4125.

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