City of Miami Gardens eyes $60M bond

City to host town hall Thursday

Carla St.Louis | 2/27/2014, 9 a.m.
If Mayor Oliver Gilbert has his way, 2014 will be the year of redemption for the City of Miami Gardens. ...
Conceptual Site Plan

If Mayor Oliver Gilbert has his way, 2014 will be the year of redemption for the City of Miami Gardens.

While last year was marked with youth violence which received a great deal of media attention, Gilbert and the City Council are focusing on the community’s potential.

On February 27th at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Center, Miami Gardens’ residents will have an opportunity to discuss the City’s recently announced general obligation bond at a town hall meeting.

According to Gilbert, the $60 million general obligation bond represents a comprehensive effort to improve residents’ quality of life by creating a safer City.

Conceptual Site Plan

Conceptual Site Plan

“The children of Miami Gardens will not be confined to traditional football and basketball sports offerings common in urban areas,” said Gilbert. “We plan to develop a facility that allows for gymnastics, dance, ballet, fencing, martial arts and boxing.”

All Gilbert and the Council ask of the residents is to invest in their community.

“We’ve always been a community that is willing to invest in what we believe in, so I’m confident that the voters will agree that this investment into the unlimited potential of our youth is a worthwhile one,” said Gilbert.

Residents will vote to approve the bond that will finance the City’s proposed large-scale renovations to existing parks and new recreational facilities in Miami Gardens on April 1st. The City Council needs a majority vote from residents in order for the measure to pass.

“One of the best parts of being the Mayor of Miami Gardens is the frequent interaction that I have with our uniquely engaged residents,” said Gilbert. “Most of these facilities were suggested by residents during casual interactions. After the initial suggestion, the City’s staff conducted research and assessments to determine the feasibility and appropriateness of each facility.”

The City plans to add Culinary Arts and Hospitality Center, a culinary facility where residents can enjoy outdoor dining and hospitality services and an Elderly Center exclusively for senior citizens.

For residents who are harboring American Idol-like fantasies, they can indulge in the City’s proposed Audio-Visual and Arts Center, a recording and video studio.

The bond would also fund a STEM Laboratory where the youth can pursue science, technology, engineering and math endeavors and an Alternative Sports and Fitness Complex that houses boxing, ballet, martial arts and other non-traditional sports.

The City will also utilize a portion of the funds to equip the community with cutting-edge public safety technology in the form of surveillance cameras and license plate readers installed at strategic locations throughout Miami Gardens.

It is anticipated that the City will pay back the bond over a 25-year period through tax revenues that will cost residents an estimated $3.85 monthly per average household or $46.20 annually.

The Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex is located at 3000 NW 199th Street.