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Melbourne, Florida

Interesting facts about Melbourne, Florida 32940, 32935, 32934

Interesting facts about Melbourne Florida, air conditioning, heating, repair and service.
The City of Melbourne is located on east central Florida`s Space Coast. Melbourne is about an hour`s drive south of the Kennedy Space Center, and 1-1/2 hours due east of Disney World. The City is in the southern portion of Brevard County. Interstate-95 runs through the county from north-to-south. Access roads from the west include the Beachline Expressway (formerly the Beeline) and U.S. 192, which runs through Melbourne to the beaches.

While most of Melbourne is located on the Florida mainland, a small portion is located on a barrier island. The Indian River Lagoon separates the mainland from the island. The island is a narrow strip of land that separates the Lagoon from the Atlantic Ocean. (In prehistoric times the lagoon was connected to the ocean. Today, the only connection is by way of a handful of inlets, including the manmade Sebastian Inlet at the southern end of Brevard County.) Spanning the Indian River Lagoon to connect the mainland to the barrier island are a pair of four-lane, high-rise bridges -- the Melbourne Causeway and the Eau Gallie Causeway.

Nearby incorporated communities include Palm Bay, West Melbourne, Indialantic, Melbourne Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, and Satellite Beach. Viera and Suntree, unincorporated communities, are also nearby.

The contemporary City of Melbourne is the result of a merger of the separate communities of Melbourne and Eau Gallie. An election allowed the consolidation under a common charter on July 15, 1969.

Today, the City is approximately 41 square miles in size, with about 75% of that land in use. The City of Melbourne population was 78,427 as of April 1, 2010, according to the University of Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research. The population of Melbourne continues to grow at a modest rate. Melbourne is located at the center of a much larger urban area.

Municipal government is responsible for providing vital services to City residents. In addition, drinking water services are provided to customers in a regional area that includes several other municipalities. To accomplish its mission, the City organization includes more than 800 employees.

The Space Coast is known as a high-tech center of the Southeast. Major employers in the Melbourne vicinity include Brevard Community College, the Brevard County School Board, Florida Institute of Technology, Florida TODAY (Gannett) Newspaper, DRS Technologies, GE Transportation Systems, Harris Corporation, Holmes Regional Medical Center, MIMA, Northrop Grumman Corporation- Surveillance and Battle Management Systems, Nuance Dictaphone Training Center, Rockwell Collins, Rossi Electronics, and Wuesthoff Health System. Technical companies such as Data Flow Systems have provided services from the Melbourne area for decades, while others have relocated or are spin-offs from larger enterprises.

Several major employers are located in a `high-tech` industrial park at the Melbourne International Airport. Brazil-based Embraer is locating a passenger aircraft assembly plant and customer center on airport property. AAR Corp. has announced plans to locate an aircraft maintenance facility there. Other companies located there include Harris Corporation, Northrop-Grumman, Rockwell International, and D.B.A. Systems. Melbourne is home to Grumman`s "Joint Stars" project, which played an important role in the Gulf War victory.

Melbourne promotes economic development and is actively engaged in revitalization efforts in three areas of the city. Information and assistance is available from the Planning and Economic Development Department. The Melbourne metropolitan area has been ranked as one of the most affordable in the nation for homebuyers in a survey by the National Association of Home Builders. The 1998 "Money" Magazine `Best Places` survey rated Melbourne and Brevard County 7th among medium-sized Southern. In 2010, Money Magazine noted Melbourne as a good location for investments in real estate.

Demographic information is available in the Melbourne Community Data Summary prepared by the Economic Development Commission of Florida`s Space Coast.

Queries about the area can be directed to the Melbourne Regional Chamber of East Central Florida, which receives e-mail at: chamber@melpb-chamber.org. Information about bus services in Melbourne and other areas is available from the Space Coast Area Transit offices (321) 633-1878. Melbourne residents can use two bus routes for free -- route no. 21 and no. 29 -- due to a subsidy by the Melbourne City Council.

The City of Melbourne maintains a web-links page that can help you locate additional Internet pages containing information about the area as well as links to community business and resources. The City Code and Comprehensive Plan are available online, as is the Geographic Information System.

Local Government: Melbourne`s charter provides for a Council-Manager form of government. Elected to office are a Mayor and six Council members. Although Council members are elected from districts, all of the elected officials are selected by city-wide vote. They serve four-year terms.

The Mayor and Council members are listed with their telephone numbers. The City of Melbourne accepts Internet e-mail for the Mayor and all City Council members at cityhall@melbourneflorida.org . Additional e-mail addresses, which are listed here, are maintained by the elected officials for their own use and provide the option of direct contact with those individuals.
Mayor Harry Goode , (321) 608-7221 e-mail: cityhall@melbourneflorida.org
District 1, Mike Nowlin , (321) 254-1886 e-mail: cityhall@melbourneflorida.org
District 2, Mark LaRusso , (321) 779-8505 e-mail: mark@marklarusso.com
District 3, Vice Mayor Kathy Meehan, (321) 984-7588 e-mail:cityhall@melbourneflorida.org
District 4, John Thomas, (321) 608-7221 e-mail: johnthomas@melbourneflorida.org
District 5, Molly Tasker, (321) 242-2009 e-mail: cityhall@melbourneflorida.org
District 6, Greg Jones, (321) 242-3444 e-mail: gregjones@melbourneflorida.org
Correspondence to Mayor and Council should be addressed to them at City Hall, 900 East Strawbridge Avenue, Melbourne, Florida 32901.

City Hall is located approximately one block west of the intersection of U.S. 192 (also known as Strawbridge Avenue) and U.S. 1. City Hall is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Direct dial telephone numbers to the various city departments are available, or you may call the switchboard, at (321) 608-7000.
Council Meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall. All meetings are open to the public.

Under Melbourne`s charter, the City Council sets policies and goals. This means that by majority vote the City Council can create ordinances or change existing ordinances. The Council provides final approval on planning and zoning matters, and on changes to the City`s Comprehensive Plan. The Council also must approve an annual budget for the City.
Citizen involvement in decision making includes the opportunity to speak at public hearings. A public hearing is held before any new law is approved. Public hearings are also held each year before an annual budget and a property tax rate are finalized.

Another important job of the City Council is the selection of a City Manager to implement policy and manage day-to-day activities. The City Manager is then responsible for hiring key staff. The City Council also appoints members to municipal boards. The board members are volunteers. Most of the boards are advisory, while several are granted specific decision-making powers.

City Management: Melbourne`s City Manager is Jack M. Schluckebier. Two Deputy City Managers, Amy Elliott and Howard Ralls, in addition to a variety of Department Directors report to the City Manager. Department directors include Finance Director Michele Ennis, Utilities and Public Works Director Ralph Reigelsperger, Leisure Services Director Mary Ann Bowman, Fire Chief Paul Forsberg, Interim Police Chief Steve Mimbs, City Clerk Cathy Wysor, Community Development Director Melinda Thomas, City Engineer Jenni Lamb, and Planning & Economic Development Director Cindy Dittmer. The City Attorney is Paul Gougelman.

Among the departments that are frequently contacted by citizens is Leisure Services, which is responsible for recreation programs and parks. For information on a variety of classes, activities, and rental of facilities, call (321) 255-4608.
Often requested by area groups are water conservation presentations and tours of water and wastewater facilities. For information call (321) 674-5761. Presentation topics include water quality, and landscaping for water conservation and wildlife.

Budget: The City of Melbourne operates on a $148-million budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year that began on Oct. 1, 2010. After an extensive budget document is reviewed by City Council, public hearings to seek community comment on budget plans are held each September.

The budget includes a $69.5-million General Fund to pay for day-to-day operations including emergency services, recreation and parks, and public works operations and projects. Income to the General Fund includes property taxes. The current property tax rate is 5.92 mills, or about $5.92 per $1,000 in taxable property valuation. Costs of municipal services for Melbourne residents are the lowest among full-service cities in Brevard County.

Property taxes represent about 31% of the revenue that goes into the General Fund, and about 16% of the City`s total revenue . Other revenue sources are varied, and include such things as permit fees, franchise fees, and a portion of gasoline taxes.

The City`s capital improvement fund for the 2010-11 fiscal year is $6.35-million. The City operates a stormwater program that is funded through annual assessments of $29.60 per residential unit. Melbourne`s stormwater program budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year is $1.75-million.

Two other City funds pay their own way. These funds receive no money from property taxes, and instead rely on charges and fees for income. They are the $46.1-million Water and Sewer Fund, and the $2.7-million Recreation Systems Fund for the two municipal golf courses. In addition, the Melbourne International Airport operates with a $15.2-million budget. A seven-member Airport Authority has responsibility for the airport, which is a municipal agency.

Income to the City also includes state and federal grants that allow operation of the Community Development Program. About $1.75-million in grants are to fund housing and community improvement programs during the budget year.

The Melbourne International Airport serves Florida`s Space and Treasure Coasts with domestic and international passenger and air freight service. Utilizing convenient, state-of-the-art facilities, the Melbourne International Airport is served by carriers including Delta Airlines and US Airways. The Airport also provides services including charter passenger flights, private aviation, and air freight flights. International services include U.S. Customs, I.N.S., and U.S.D.A. The Airport is part of Free Trade Zone #136. A NEXRAD weather facility is located on the airfield. For additional information, telephone (321) 723-6227, or write to Melbourne International Airport, One Air Terminal Parkway, Suite #220, Melbourne, FL 32901-1888.

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