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Miami Gardens schedules next bond meeting

Carla St.Louis | 3/20/2014, 9 a.m.

Miami Gardens' policy makers will hold a second town hall meeting for the city's proposed $60 million general obligation bond referendum this week. The meeting will be held on March 20th at 7 pm at the Pentecostal Tabernacle International Church located at 18415 NW 7th Avenue.

City officials will hear residents’ input on the bond, which city leaders say is needed to renovate and construct the parks. They say the funds will also be used to purchase new technological equipment to fight crime in the second largest city in Miami-Dade.

The bond has a low 4.25 percent interest rate that matures over a 30-year period through tax revenue and cost residents an estimated $3.85 monthly per average household or $46.20 annually. 

Residents will vote on the referendum by mail-in ballot on April 21st.  To pass, the referendum must receive 60 percent of the vote.

Lawmakers hope this will happen as they aim to beautify the city and improve the quality of life for their 110,000 residents. But critics at the first town hall meeting on February 27th said the large bond may be unnecessary and urged city leaders to provide them with more time to examine the proposal and other options.

At that meeting, residents were in favor of the bond once Mayor Oliver Gilbert explained its purpose but shock and confusion soon followed once he revealed its amount and that it didn’t include beautifying residential areas. Many residents were irate that this was the first time they heard about the proposal despite the bond being approved May 22nd of last year.

Residents drilled Mayor Gilbert with questions about its impact on crime and whether the bond should be spent on other needs in the city.

The full text of the proposed Bond Referendum for Parks and Expansion, including installing crime prevention equipment, is available at http://bit.ly/NoxaXE and in the office of the City Clerk located at 1515 NW 167th Street, Building 5, Suite 200 in Miami Gardens.