By Graham Sturgeon, staff writer

Bond millages for both the Durand and Corunna School Districts passed at the Tuesday, Nov. 3, special election, with Durand’s being approved by a 58.66 to 41.34 percent margin, 799 to 563, and Corunna’s passing by a 57.46 to 42.54 percent margin, 1,340 to 992. Conversely, both the Owosso and Byron School proposals failed; Owosso’s by a 55.02 to 44.98 percent margin, 2,967 to 2,426 and Byron’s by a 53.5 to 46.5 percent margin, 527 to 458.

Owosso Public Schools asked for the largest bond at $49.5 million for 30 years that would have included a Middle School addition to Owosso High School, high school renovations, a 1,000-seat auditorium, air conditioning in all buildings and four new school buses. If passed, the bond would have resulted in a tax levy of 5.5 mills for Owosso School District property owners. The Owosso Public Schools had previously asked for a $54 million bond costing just over 6 mills in a February special election, which was voted down by a 59 to 41 percent margin. Owosso Public Schools Sup’t. Dr. Andrea Tuttle released a statement Wednesday morning in response to the district’s vote.

“I am obviously disappointed. We have presented our community with two different options this year and unfortunately, they did not find either of them viable. The need to upgrade and renovate our schools, particularly the middle school, will not go away. Now we reflect and determine the next steps to continue ensuring that Owosso’s students have all the tools they need to succeed. There are so many positive things happening in Owosso, and, while I wish a successful bond would have been added to that list, it did not happen. I want to sincerely thank all of the individuals who worked tirelessly on the bond education efforts and those who voted.”

The Corunna Public Schools asked for the second-largest bond at $16.5 million to make improvements in all five of their school buildings, the administration building, the transportation building and the athletic complexes. The approved bond extension has a 20-year life and will require a 3.87-mill tax levy, which will rise from the current 2.6 mills.

The Durand Area School bond renewal amounts to roughly $6.4 million in interest the district saved by refunding their 2005 and 2006 bonds last year (2014). District taxpayers would have seen their tax rate drop from the current 6.7 mills if the bond proposal had failed, but taxes are not expected to rise as a result of the approval, and the tax levy would have continued until 2031 either way. All four of Durand’s school buildings will receive improvements, and the Durand Board of Education also plans to re-pave the N. Saginaw Street access drive for the High School and Athletic area while making improvements to the football/track stadium drainage system.

Byron Area Schools asked for a two-year extension of their 2014 three-mill Sinking Fund levy that was approved by district voters in February 2014. Byron used their 2014 Sinking Fund money to improve their technology infrastructure, upgrade the heating systems, replace boilers and renovate three science classrooms. Byron Area Schools was asking for a two-year extension of the millage to continue work in those areas. More specifically, the proposed Sinking Fund millage would have been used to update ventilation units in all school buildings, implement a fresh air exchange system and to add heating and ventilation controls.

Corunna, Durand Proposals Approved; Owosso, Byron Rejected was last modified: November 10th, 2015 by Karen Elford