Funds would go to upgrade aging elementary, high school facilities


DRYDEN — Dryden Community Schools Superintendent Mary Finnigan and the school board issued a statement this past week encouraging the passage of a 1.4 mill, $10.77 million bond proposal for school improvements.

Dryden’s bond proposal will bring more technology to the classrooms and repair boilers, roofs and other needed projects.

The bond passage would allow the district to address major components of infrastructure which are reaching the end of life for the elementary and high schools.

The 2023 bond proposal would include among other projects; roof repair, safety and security upgrades, replacement of HVAC, windows and boilers, foundation and wall improvements, technology upgrades, replacing flooring and lockers, adding/improving parking, installing electronic message boards and creating an early college area.

The last school bond was passed in 2008. In order to save taxpayers money, the district refunded bonds twice in 2016 and once in 2006.

Superintendent Finnigan in written correspondence with the Tri-City Times wrote, “In 2016, we did two series of bond refunds. This refunding saved our taxpayers $470,434 in January 2016 and $153,849 in November 2016. Our total savings for both was $624,283.”

“In 2006, we did bond refunding in the amount of $5.62 million.”

Supt. Finnigan went on to explain, “Dryden is the lowest in the county and has the smallest population. The requested increase of 1.4 mills will bring us to a total school millage of 4.1 mills (still at the lower end of the county), and then will level off at 2.71 mills over the 18-year life of the bond.”

As a point of comparison, below are the debt rates for Lapeer County as of 2021:
Almont 8.45 mills
Lapeer 2.65 mills
Dryden 2.65 mills
Imlay City 6.5 mills
North Branch 7.83 mills

“The added cost to families will be $5.86 per month for a $100,000 home with a state-equalized value (SEV) of $50,000,” Supt. Finnigan stated.

“We really work to be good stewards of our taxpayers’ money. This bond is essential because it protects the investment in our buildings by upgrading and replacing items that are beyond their normal replacement schedule. It also provides a safe, secure, and healthy environment for our students to learn in and our staff to work in,” Finnigan concluded.

The vote will be Tuesday, May 2, 2023. Information can be found at and/or by emailing