Palm Bay, Florida
|Palm Bay, Florida|
|City of Palm Bay|
|Motto: "A perfect place to grow!"|
Location in Brevard County and the U.S. state of Florida
|Country||United States of America|
|• Mayor||William Capote|
|• 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Government
- 6 Public safety
- 7 Education
- 8 Transportation
- 9 Notable people
- 10 References
- 11 External links
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.
On April 23, 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 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 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.
In 2009, the Brevard Zoo moved the remaining 15 Florida scrub jay families native to the city to Buck Lake Conservation Area in Mims. The Florida scrub jay is a threatened species in the area due to it being territorial and its inability to move to better grounds when its habitat is jeopardized. 
In 2010, plans were revealed by a private company to develop Emerald City, a large planned city within the city limits. The focus will be on creating an eco-friendly urban community that will include residential zones consisting of townhouses and commercial zones consisting of state-of-the-art medical facilities, research and development centers for technology firms, and urbanized retail shopping centers. As of February 2016, Emerald City is currently in the development phase.
Fiscal concern over firefighters' pensions occurred during 2010. Firefighters' salaries averaged $71,100 annually plus $5,590 overtime pay. They were eligible for 100% of base pay after 28 years of service.
In 2012, construction began on the St. John’s Heritage Parkway (also known as the Palm Bay Parkway), an arterial roadway that runs north to south along the western limits of the city.  A portion of the parkway opened to the public in 2015. The project was in the development phase for over a decade. The roadway was planned out of a need to alleviate traffic for commuters on the main thoroughfares of SR 507, CR 509, and I-95. Later phases of the project will bring the roadway further south and then east following the lower city limits, eventually connecting to I-95 just north of Micco Road. There are other roadway improvement projects currently in the development phase, including widening SR 507 (Babcock Street) from four lanes to six. 
The city formerly monitored 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. These cameras were removed in 2014.
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 portion of Bayside Lakes "downtown" to create a focus for the city.
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
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.48
- St. Johns River; Sawgrass Lake; Lake Hell 'n Blazes; Indian Fields; St. John's Marsh; Osceola County
- Grant-Valkaria; Malabar; Indian River Lagoon
- West Melbourne; Melbourne
- Deer Run; St John's Marsh
|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:
- Harris Corporation manufacturing has 3,400 employees on its Palm Bay campus on Palm Bay Road
- Intersil employed 700 people in 2010
- Palm Bay Hospital (formerly Palm Bay Community Hospital) owned by Health First
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.
Transient travelers constitute the city's main audience. A secondard market is business including corporate and higher education.
The 2015 Tough Mudder 12.5 miles (20.1 km) race, drew 9,875 visitors to the area including 6,835 participants. The Brevard County Tourist Development Council spent $40,000 promoting and staging the event.
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. The office of Mayor receives an annual salary of $8,000 while council members receive $4,000.
- Mayor – William Capote (2012-2016)
- Deputy Mayor – Jeff Bailey (2014-2018)
- Councilmembers – Michele Paccione (2012-2016), Harry Santiago Jr. (2012-2016), and Trey Holton (2014-2018)
- City Manager – Greg Lynk
- City Attorney - Andrew Lannon
- City Clerk - Terese Jones
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 hours 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:
Private schools include:
Public Middle School:
- Southwest Middle School
Public High Schools:
- Bayside High School
- Palm Bay High School which actually lies within the city of Melbourne
- Heritage High School
Major roads in Palm Bay include the following:
- U.S. 1 – This road serves the northeastern section of the city. It is intersected by four main roads: Malabar Road, Port Malabar Boulevard, Robert J. Conlan Boulevard and Palm Bay Road.
- Interstate 95 – The major freeway serving the East Coast of the United States runs northwest to southeast through the center of the city's area. The city is served by Interchanges 176 (Palm Bay Road) and 173 (Malabar Road).
- Babcock Street – This road runs through the eastern portion of Palm Bay. It provides a direct route to Fellsmere in Indian River County from Brevard County. Main intersections include Palm Bay Road, Port Malabar Boulevard, Malabar Road, Waco Boulevard, Valkaria Road, Grant Road, Eldron Boulevard, and Cogan Drive.
- Malabar Road – This road connects U.S. 1 along the Indian River on the far eastern end of the city to the far western end at the headwaters of the St. Johns River. It is the main road to the town of Malabar, which gives its name to the road and is largely surrounded by Palm Bay. City Hall and Palm Bay Regional Park are located at its western terminus. Main intersections include Interstate 95, Babcock Street, Minton Road, San Filippo Drive, Emerson Drive, Jupiter Boulevard and Eldron Boulevard.
- CR 516 – Palm Bay Road
- Emerson Drive, Bayside Lakes Boulevard, and Bombardier Boulevard – All three roads make a large crescent-shaped roadway. The northern terminus is Amador Avenue, and the southern terminus is a dead end in The Compound. There is a dirt road, Emerson Drive, off Degroodt Road. The western terminus of the route is Sappodilla Road. Main intersections include Wingham Drive, Sapodilla Road, Degroodt Road, Eldron Boulevard, Walden Boulevard, Waco Boulevard, Malabar Road, Minton Road, and Jupiter Boulevard.
There are about 851 miles (1,370 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.
- Bruce Alger, U.S. representative for Texas's 5th congressional district, 1955-1965, retired and died in Palm Bay in 2015
- Deanne Bell, American reality television show host known for PBS's Design Squad and Discovery Channel's Smash Lab
- Xavier Carter, professional track athlete
- Joe Cohen, San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle
- Ezio Flagello, Italian-American opera singer
- David Gewirtz, CNN columnist, cyberterrorism advisor, presidential scholar.
- Chris Heston, San Francisco Giants pitcher
- Reggie Nelson, professional football player
- City Council/City Clerk - City Emblems, Palm Bay City Emblems.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Palm Bay city, Florida". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
- "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Palm Bay city, Florida". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Update of Statistical Area Definitions and guidance on their uses" (PDF). Office of Management and Budget. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-11-20. Retrieved 2007-11-25.
- Albert Hazen Wright, The habitats and composition of the vegetation of Okefinokee Swamp, Georgia, Durham, N.C. : Duke University Press, 1932. OCLC 1965132
- Cervenka, Susan (5 December 2009). "Parade kicks off Palm Bay birthday". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1B.
- Summers, Keyonna (17 January 2010). "Looking back at 50 years". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1B.
- Nordheimer, Jon (25 April 1987). "FLORIDA GUNMAN CHARGED WITH KILLING 6". The New York Times.
- "William Cruse - Florida Death Row Inmate William Cruse". Crime.about.com. 1987-04-23. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
- "William Cruse 82, Oldest Man On FL Death Row Dies Of Natural Causes". Off2dr.com. 2009-12-01. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
- Moore, Kimberly C. (June 19, 2008). "Old country club value nose dives". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida.
- Reed, Matt (6 March 2011). "Vote makes way for pothole patching". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 1B.
- Berger, Bill (22 January 2011). "An eventful time". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 13A.
- "City of Palm Bay, Florida LISTSERV - POLICE_DEPARTMENT Archives". Listserv.palmbayflorida.org. 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
- Waymer, Jim (20 December 2009). "A new home, new hope for scrub jay". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1A.
- "Editorial (Our view):Day of reckoning - Palm Bay firefighters pension dispute requires straight talk, compromise". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. 23 May 2010. pp. 18A.
- "Editorial:Thumbs up, thumbs down". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. September 25, 2013. pp. 9A. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
- "Turkey Creek Sanctuary". City of Palm Bay Florida. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- "Average Weather for Palm Bay, FL - Temperature and Precipitation". Weather.com. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- Building Permits United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2009-07-24.
- Palm Bay Community Data Sheet Economic Development Council of Florida's Space Coast. Retrieved on 2009-07-24.
- Modern Language Association Data Center Results of Brandon, Florida.
- Kennerly, Britt (2 January 2011). "Palm Bay census a letdown". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 1B.
- Explanation of criteria for "innovative" ranking
- Peterson, Patrick (17 October 2010). "Harris considers PB overhaul". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1E.
- Peterson, Patrick (18 February 2010). "Spin-off success stories". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 8C.
- "Indicators already show weak economy". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. 10 January 2010. pp. 6A.
- Berman, Dave (January 22, 2016). "Wish You Were Here". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 1A–10A. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
- Neale, Rick (December 29, 2015). "Report: Tough Modder accrued $4.7 million". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 3A. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
- "City of Palm Bay form of government information". Palm Bay, Florida. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
- Kennerly, Britt (April 14, 2011). "Feldman among final 3 for job". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 1B.
- "City Council/City Clerk – City Council". Palmbayflorida.org. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
- Dean, James (April 26, 2008). More taxes or fewer services. Florida Today.
- "Open.palmbayflorida.org". Open.palmbayflorida.org. 2012-09-30. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
- Cervenka, Susanne (17 January 2010). "Palm Bay opens its finances online". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 1B.
- Moor, Kimberly C. (6 March 2010). "Cities find ways to trim budget". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1A.
-  retrieved November 25, 2008 Archived May 9, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
- Moore, Kimberly (24 April 2009). "Care urged in water testing". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 4B.
- Zonka, Milo (26 October 2010). "City seeks pension reform". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 7A.
- Moody, R. Norman (28 November 2009). "Brevard crime up, down". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 5B.
- Gallop, J.D. (April 7, 2011). "Skype speeds warrants process". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 1A.
- Reed, Matt (January 26, 2012). "Can Palm Bay defy its slump?". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 8A.
- Neale, Rick (February 8, 2015). "Palm Bay's $162M road repair backlog". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 7A. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
- Gunnerson, Scott (December 29, 2013). "Road work falls miles behind". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 3A. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
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- Matt Schundel (April 25, 2015). "Bruce Alger, firebrand Republican congressman from Texas, dies at 96". Washington Post. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (April 26, 2008). Ring of Fire. Air America Radio.
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