Miami Gardens - Opa-locka

Plans for Miami Gardens African history museum stalled

The Miami Gardens City Council met Wednesday, June 10.

The main item

Plans for an African art and culture museum in Miami Gardens took a hit Wednesday night as the city council voted against funding a $125,000 matching grant to the Nigerian-American Foundation.

Council members voted 4-1, with Vice Mayor Felicia Robinson casting the only yes vote. Mayor Oliver Gilbert was absent from the meeting and Councilman Erhabor Ighodaro recused himself from voting due to his support of the foundation.

Residents and members of the North County Citizens’ Association didn’t necessarily oppose the idea but mostly the proposed location, at the corner of Northwest 207th Street and Northwest 32nd Avenue, and thought it should be placed in a more commercial area of the city.

“I live about four blocks from this location. Good idea. Wrong place,” former Councilman Aaron Campbell said at the meeting.

Other business

Small-business program: In addition to an economic plan for residents and larger businesses, the council passed an item creating a small-business growth program. The program will give preference to small businesses on contracts valued at $50,000 or less.

Housing policy change: The council approved changes to its housing program policies to comply with federal regulations. The changes include complying with standards on lead-based paint and giving homeowners more leeway on loans for home rehabilitation.

Waivers of plat: Council members approved two “waivers of plat” for two developments in the city. The two projects — a YWCA facility at 3468 NW 199th St. and a Family Dollar at 1700 NW 183rd St. — both received approval from the Miami-Dade County plat committee in March.

They said it

“I agree with my residents. I understand that it would be a beautiful, beautiful site and we need to move forward with Miami Gardens and what we’re trying to do.” — Councilwoman Lisa Davis before voting against the museum item.

You said it

“If you want something cultured, if you want something bright, why not put it where the public would see it?” — Resident Beverly Bush discussing the museum item.

The next meeting

When: 7 p.m. June 24

Where: Miami Gardens City Hall, 18605 NW 27th Ave., Miami Gardens