|Palm Bay, Florida|
|City of Palm Bay|
|Motto: "A perfect place to grow!"|
Location in Brevard County and the state of Florida
|Country||United States of America|
|City Manager||Sue Hann|
|City||68.8 sq mi (178.3 km2)|
|Land||65.7 sq mi (170.2 km2)|
|Water||3.1 sq mi (8.1 km2) 4.56%|
|Elevation||19 ft (5 m)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0288389|
Palm Bay is a city in Brevard County, Florida. The city's population was 103,190 at the 2010 United States Census, making it the most populous city in the county. Palm Bay is a principal city of the Palm Bay Melbourne Titusville Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of 543,376 at the 2010 census.
Palm Bay's recent history began in the 1850s when the first European settlers built homes along Turkey Creek. Originally referred to as Tillman, the settlement was described as a "small strip of hammock...on each side of Turkey Creek...mostly pine and palmetto, miserable sandy barren oak scrub, some ponds and interspersed with sawgrass and gallberry."
By the mid-nineteenth century, there was a lumbering operation,[clarification needed] packing house, and orange groves. Growth was slow until the arrival of the railroad in 1894. Then goods were brought in and produce was shipped to market faster.
Between 1910 and 1914, Tillman became the center for a land company known as the Indian River Catholic Colony. Attempting to grow two crops a season, farmers quickly depleted the soil, and the colony failed. Those remaining built St. Joseph's Church on Miller Street, the oldest building still standing.
In the 1920s, the city was renamed after the bay bordered with sabal palm trees known as Palm Bay, located at the mouth of Turkey Creek. A group of Tillman businessmen established the Melbourne-Tillman Drainage District, and issued $1.5 million worth of bonds. Starting in 1922, a 180 miles (290 km) grid of 80 canals was dug to drain 40,000 acres (160 km2) of swampy land west of Palm Bay. The canals made it possible to control flooding and turn marsh lands to agricultural use. Farmers planted citrus groves and truck farms which shipped winter produce by the Florida East Coast Railroad to northern markets. Farmers sold timber and land to paper companies. In 1926, a fire among the dredges and a severe hurricane economically depressed Palm Bay. The Melbourne-Tillman Drainage District went bankrupt.
In 1959, General Development Corporation purchased and platted extensive tracts of land in Palm Bay for its large residential project known as Port Malabar. The city incorporated itself on January 16, 1960. Prior to expanding their borders, the city population was 2,808 that year.
The active development of the city after that point was intertwined with GDC, who laid out and built many of the streets, sold and built many of the city's now older homes, and built a water treatment plant later purchased by the city after GDC filed for bankruptcy in 1991.
In 1987, William Cruse shot 16 people, killing six, including two college students and two police officers, at a local shopping center. He wounded a number of others. The story was national news.
The city made the finals for "All American City" for three years (2003 2005).
In 2008, the former Port Malabar Country Club property was revalued at $300,000, essentially "worthless" because of arsenic in the groundwater which would require an estimated $12 million to clean up.
There are hundreds of miles of roads that are in such poor condition that the city Public Works Department considers them unserviceable. The voters have consistently defeated measures which would have improved roads, termed the worst in Brevard. In 2005 they voted down a $58.7 million bond measure. In 2009, they defeated a $75.2 million tax referendum. In 2010, voters living in areas with the worst roads voted 9-1 against $44.7 million assessment for repairing them. In 2011, the city government created a Palm Bay Road Maintenance District that they hope can levy taxes and alleviate the situation.
The Florida Scrub Jay is threatened because the species is territorial and cannot move to better grounds when its habitat is jeopardized. In 2009, the Brevard Zoo moved the remaining 15 scrub jay families native to the city to Buck Lake Conservation Area in Mims.
In 2010, there was some fiscal concern over firefighters' pensions. Firefighters' salaries averaged $71,100 annually plus $5,590 overtime pay. They were eligible for 100% of base pay after 28 years of service.
The city monitors some intersections with radar cameras, resulting in the issuing of traffic tickets for running a red light. In 2013, these monitored intersections were no safer than unmonitored ones.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 68.8 square miles (178.3 km2), of which 65.7 square miles (170.2 km2) is land and 3.1 square miles (8.1 km2), or 4.56%, is water.
The city is often referred to in four quadrants: Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Southeast, each containing multiple zip codes. The most urban area is in Northeast. The most rural area is in Southwest, containing an area called The Compound. This area is home to Bombardier Recreational Products. A small portion of Bayside Lakes lies in the area.
Palm Bay is developing its Bayside Lakes "downtown" to create a focus for the city.
Drainage continues to be a problem in some parts of the city, caused primarily by the sudden unplanned transfer from General Development Corporation to the city of the responsibility for planning future growth and designing adequate drainage. This problem has been mitigated since 2000 with the continued design and construction work by Palm Bay City employees. During the early 1990s, Palm Bay Regional Park, a soccer and athletic complex in the western part of the city, was constructed. It is the largest of a citywide system of parks and recreation areas. The Turkey Creek Sanctuary is a small nature reserve in the northeast part of the city.
|Climate data for Palm Bay, FL|
|Record high °F (°C)||89 |
|Average high °F (°C)||72 |
|Average low °F (°C)||50 |
|Record low °F (°C)||17 |
|Precipitation inches (mm)||2.48 |
|Palm Bay Demographics|
|2010 Census||Palm Bay||Brevard County||Florida|
|Population, percent change, 2000 to 2010||+29.9%||+14.1%||+17.6%|
|Population density||1,570.6/sq mi||535.0/sq mi||350.6/sq mi|
|White or Caucasian (including White Hispanic)||72.9%||77.6%||75.0%|
|(Non-Hispanic White or Caucasian)||63.9%||53.7%||57.9%|
|Black or African-American||17.9%||10.1%||16.0%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||14.1%||8.1%||22.5%|
|Native American or Native Alaskan||0.5%||0.4%||0.4%|
|Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian||0.1%||0.1%||0.1%|
|Two or more races (Multiracial)||3.6%||2.6%||2.5%|
|Some Other Race||3.2%||1.7%||3.6%|
As of 2010, there were 45,220 households out of which 12.7% were vacant. As of 2000, 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.0% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.2% are non-families. 21.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.03.
In 2000, the city's population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 95.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.4 males.
In 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $36,508, and the median income for a family was $41,636. Males had a median income of $31,060 versus $22,203 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,992. 9.5% of the population and 7.1% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 11.5% were under the age of 18 and 8.1% were 65 or older.
In 2008, 403 building permits were issued for 534 units. This was down from 739 permits issued for 739 units in 2007, which was down from 1766 permits for 1771 units in 2006. The median home price in 2007 was $166,500.
As of 2000, English spoken as a first language accounted for 88.55% of all residents, while 11.44% spoke other languages as their mother tongue. The most significant was Spanish speakers who made up 7.45% of the population, while French came up as the third most spoken language, which made up 0.93%, German was spoken by 0.92%, and Arabic was at fourth, with 0.53% of the population.
The following corporations are located in the city:
In 2007, the average size of Palm Bay's labor force was 49,935. Of that group, 47,542 were employed and 2,393 were unemployed, for an unemployment rate of 4.8%. This figure had risen to 6,571 (12.7%) and was the highest rate in the county.
The Mayor and City Council are the legislative branch of city government; its members are the community's decision makers. The Mayor is the presiding officer at the Council Meetings and is the official head of the City for all ceremonial occasions. Power is centralized in the elected Mayor and Council (City Council), which approves the budget, determines the tax rate, focuses on the community's goals, major projects, and such long-term considerations as community growth, land use development, capital improvement plans, capital financing, and strategic planning.
In Palm Bay, a five-member Mayor and Council, operate in accordance with the City Charter. Three positions created by the Charter (Charter Officers) are appointed by and report directly to the City Council: City Manager, City Attorney, and City Clerk.
The City Manager is responsible for all activities related to the operations of the City. The City Manager hires a professional staff to assist in the administration and enforcement of the City Charter, ordinances, resolutions, financial conditions and all of the various procedures and policies that are required for the City to function properly. In 2011, the annual salary of the city manager was $168,000.
Greene was elected and Isnardi reelected in 2010 and are serving four-year terms expiring in November 2014. Capote, Santiago Jr. and Paccione were elected in November 2012 and will serve through November 2016.
In June 1999 Mazziotti was removed from office by then Governor Jeb Bush when it was revealed that the mayor had previously served two prison sentences and did not have his civil rights restored. After having his civil rights restored, he ran again for the City Council and won. He ran unopposed for mayor in 2005 and 2008. He has been the city's longest serving mayor.
In 2007, the city had a taxable real estate base of $5.84 billion. This amount was the largest of any municipality in the county.
In 2010, the city employed 913 full-time equivalent workers.
In 2008, the police department won an award for training patrolmen to properly collect DNA samples. At the time, they were the only police force in the world with this program.
In 2009 the utilities department had 545 miles (877 km) of water lines, 300 miles (480 km) of sewer lines, 2,250 fire hydrants, and 120 full-time equivalent employees.
The Fire department consists of about a hundred firefighters and five stations. Each shift works 24 hour on and 48 hours off. The Palm Bay Fire Department responded to over 12,000 calls in 2011.
In May 2008 ( Mothers Day Fires ) a wild fire was started that burned a total of almost 26,000 acres (11,000 ha) - 40 square miles (100 km2), 30 homes were destroyed and 140 were damaged. Firefighters from Palm Bay and across the state fought the fires around the clock.
In 2006, they became the highest paid fire department in the county. In 2010, average compensation exceeded $68,000 annually. Supplements earned during a year were also eligible for retirement. Thus a 2010 retiree, a 47-year old with a former salary of $75,540, was receiving an $86,580 pension annually.
In 2013, the city concluded an agreement with the county to furnish fire and emergency medical aid to whichever governmental unit was closer to the problem: a Palm Bay unit or a Brevard County unit.
A 2009 survey indicated that the city was ranked 263 out of 400 in crime statistics, with #1 being the worst. Crimes included murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft.
All public schools are run by the Brevard County School Board:
Public Elementary Schools:
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Private schools include:
Public Middle School:
Public High Schools:
Major roads in Palm Bay include the following:
There are about 900 miles (1,400 km) of city-maintained highways. Most roads in the area west of DeGroodt Road are unpaved. In 2013, the public works director reported that most roads in south Palm Bay were "failed roads," for lack of maintenance.
In 2012, Palm Bay had the lowest walkability of any city in the United States with a population over 100,000 people.
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