MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- County commissioners here are applauding North Dade Community Development Federal Credit Union for its part in helping to incorporate Miami Gardens, which is marking its fifth anniversary this year.
According to a May 9 article in the Miami Herald, in 2003, a group of activists sought to incorporate Miami Gardens after residents said they felt neglected by the rest of Miami-Dade County. Commissioners were convinced that incorporation would help the area grow in a number of ways. Today, there are new shopping plazas, big homes, trendy restaurants and construction has started on a $25 million community center to house a spa, auditorium and fitness center.
Betty Ferguson, a county commissioner at the time when the push was made to incorporate Miami Gardens, called the $4.5 million North Dade Community Development FCU "the local economic engine city officials have neglected," the publication reported. Founded in 1997, the credit union serves more than 2,700 members.
Today, nearly 71% of Miami Gardens' residents are homeowners, compared to 54% for the rest of Miami-Dade, according to the article. At the time of incorporation, the city had $11.3 million in debt. The publication reported that the debt has since been paid off and Miami Gardens now has $10 million in reserves.