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A crushed human skull with finger, arm, and leg bones was found in association with a horse tooth. A piece of ivory that appeared to have been modified by humans was found at the bottom of the stratum containing bones. Other finds included a spear point near a mastodon bone and a turtle-back scraper and blade found with bear, camel, mastodon, horse, and tapir bones. Similar human remains, Pleistocene animals and Paleo-Indian artifacts were found in Vero Beach, 30 miles (48 km) south of Melbourne, and similar Paleo-Indian artifacts were found at the Helen Blazes archaeological site, 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Melbourne.
The Hotel Carleton c. 1907
After the Civil War, pioneer families arrived, and Melbourne was founded in 1867.
The first settlers arrived after 1877. They included Richard W. Goode, his father John Goode, Cornthwaite John Hector, Captain Peter Wright, Balaam Allen, Wright Brothers, and Thomas Mason. Three of these men, Wright, Allen, and Brothers were black freedmen.
In 1919, a fire destroyed most of the original downtown along Front Street. At the time, it was rebuilt west of US Hwy 1.
During the Jim Crow years, black people were required to enter movie theaters via a different entrance from whites and sit in the balcony. Gas stations had signs for rest rooms labeled "Men", "Women", and "Colored." This persisted until integration in the late 1960s.
In 1969, the cities of Eau Gallie and Melbourne voted to merge, forming modern-day Melbourne.
In the 1950s, Babcock Street was extended north to intersect with US 1. The Melbourne Shopping Center was constructed on Babcock, the area's first strip mall. Consumers were sufficiently attracted to this new mall, that the traditional downtown, off New Haven, suffered. Urban blight was successfully attacked there in the 1980s.
A board was created by the legislature to spend a 10% tax on electric bills. This was used by the Melbourne Civic Improvement Board to build the Melbourne Auditorium, the first library and fire station, and various parks. The board was dissolved when Melbourne was merged with Eau Gallie in 1969. That merger doubled the size of Melbourne.
Streetlights were gradually added until, by the early 1960s, streets east of Babcock Street had lights. Lights were added to streets west of Babcock after the early 1960s.
In 1969, the city elected Julius Montgomery, its first black councilman. Montgomery was also the first African American student of Brevard Engineering College, later Florida Institute of Technology which named their Pioneer Award after him.
On August 2, 1995, the city received a record 9.06 inches (230 mm) of rainfall from Hurricane Erin.
During the week of August 22, 2008, a record 17.54 inches (446 mm) of rain fell caused by Tropical Storm Fay.
A 2009 Halloweenstreet party sponsored by a downtown restaurant attracted an estimated 8,000-10,000 people. This overwhelmed the downtown area. Street parties were curtailed until public safety issues were addressed.
Melbourne is located approximately 60 miles (97 km) southeast of Orlando on the Space Coast, along Interstate 95. It is approximately midway between Jacksonville and Miami. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 39.6 square miles (102.5 km2), of which 33.9 square miles (87.7 km2) is land and 5.7 square miles (14.8 km2) (14.42%) is water.
The east-west street named Brevard Drive was historically the "center" of town; with addresses called "north" and "south" of this street. The north-south Babcock Street provided the same centerline for "east" and "west" directions.
Melbourne Beachside has a small presence on the South Beaches barrier island. It is often confused with Melbourne Beach, a separate political entity.
Melbourne, Florida has a humid subtropical climate or Köppen climate classification Cfa - typical of the Gulf and South Atlantic states. Although Melbourne is classified as a Humid Subtropical climate (8 or more months with a mean temperature of 50 °F (10 °C) or higher), Melbourne is located far enough southward that it lies close to the broad transition zone from subtropical to tropical climates (all months have a mean temperature of 64.4 °F (18.0 °C) or higher). Melbourne averages 2,900 hours of sunshine annually. Melbourne has the typical two season climate commonly found in humid subtropical climates - a hot and wet season (late May through October) and the warm and dry season (November through April).
Melbourne averages 49 inches (1,200 mm) of rainfall annually, much of it coming in convective thunderstorms in the late May to early October time period. The record rainfall occurred on August 20, 2008, when Tropical Storm Fay dropped 18.21 inches (463 mm). Melbourne can sometimes have moderate to severe drought conditions from late fall through spring, with brush fires occurring and water restrictions put in place. The National Weather Service located at Melbourne International Airport averages 2.9 days per year with frost, although several years might pass without a frost in the city of Melbourne or at the ocean beaches. According to the National Weather Service, there is no record of snow or snow flurries in the city of Melbourne in the last 150 years. On Christmas Eve 2003 the city as others in east central coast of Florida received snow from the ocean effect, when cold air passes over the considerably hotter ocean and causes the rise of air with higher temperature to bring moisture into the higher portions of the atmosphere. On the day temperatures dropped to below 30-20 °F.
Climate data for Melbourne, Florida (1981-2010 normals)
Tropical flora typical of more southerly locations is grown in the Melbourne area (coconut palms, royal palms, Christmas palms, and bananas), but can be damaged or killed when subjected to infrequent light freezes or cooler temperatures, although several years might pass without a freeze in the Melbourne area. The Melbourne area has many lush gardens and public landscapes, and is noted for the botanical northern limit of cultivated coconut palms on the Florida East Coast.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has ordered the city to reduce pollution of the Indian River Lagoon, which it borders; about 80% of the city's landmass drains in the direction of the lagoon. The city must reduce run-off by 44,000 pounds (20,000 kg) of nitrogen and 13,000 pounds (5,900 kg) of phosphorus. The city responded by banning the use of fertilizer before flood and storm warnings.
As of 2010, there were 38,955 households, out of which 12.6% were vacant. As of 2000, 24.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.0% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.7% were non-families. 32.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.82.
In 2000, the city the population was spread out, with 20.7% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 19.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.
The per capita income for the city was $19,175. In 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $34,571, and the median income for a family was $42,760. Males had a median income of $32,242 versus $22,419 for females. In Melbourne, about 8.6% of families and 11.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.4% of those under age 18 and 8.5% of those age 65 or over.
A visitor welcome sign for Melbourne.
As of 2000, 90.39% of residents spoke English as their first language, while 4.69% spoke Spanish, 0.84% spoke French, 0.73% spoke German, and 0.55% spoke Arabic as their mother tongue. In total, 9.60% of the total population spoke languages other than English.
Paul Alfrey, Mayor - Elected November 2020, term expires November 2024
Tim Thomas, Vice Mayor & District 1 Council Member - Elected in November 2016. Re-elected in November 2020, term expires November 2024
Mark LaRusso, District 2 Council Member - Elected in November 2018, term expires November 2022
Yvonne Minus, District 3 Council Member - Elected in November 2016. Re-elected in November 2020, term expires November 2024
Debbie Thomas, District 4 Council Member - Elected in November 2014. Re-elected in November 2018, term expires November 2022
Mimi Hanley, District 5 Council Member - Elected in November 2020, term expires November 2024
Julie Sanders, District 6 Council Member - Elected in November 2018, term expires November 2022
The following are appointed by the council:
Melbourne city officials created the Babcock Street Redevelopment District in 1998 to stimulate new development along Babcock Street from U.S. 1 south to U.S. 192. A 218-unit apartment complex built in 2005 is most recent step in an effort to revitalize this area.
In 2010, Melbourne began supporting the Eau Gallie Arts District as a Florida Main Street. Established in 1860 along the Indian River, the arts district (now called EGAD!) has proven to be highly successful in its redevelopment of the community of art galleries, shops, restaurants, Melbourne's first microbrewery (Intracoastal Brewing Company), and contains the city civic center and public library with a public pier, Foosaner Art Museum, FIT, Historic Rossetter House and Gardens, Pineapple Park, several businesses over 40 years old, and a community park and band shell, which is the center of many community activities.
A $180.8 million Operating and Capital Budget was passed for the 2014-15 fiscal year.
In 2007, the city had a taxable real estate base of $4.96 billion.
A 2011 study rated the general pension fund for city employees highly at 190%. Less favorably rated were the pension plans for fire and police employees.
In 2009, the city had 870 full-time employees and 176 part-time employees.
In 2015, the city employed 168 sworn police officers, 68 support personnel, 21 part-time crossing guards, and six reserve police officers.
The city manager hires the Chief of Police. A Deputy Chief of Police oversees day-to-day operations. There are four Commanders who oversee the Patrol, Criminal Investigations, Support Services, and Special Operations divisions.
A 2009 survey indicated that the city was ranked 84 out of 400 in crime statistics, with #1 being the worst. Crimes included murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft.
The Commander of the Patrol Division is responsible for all patrol functions. This includes the use of the police K-9 unit.
The Criminal Investigations Division investigates major crimes, vice and narcotic crimes, and follows-up investigation of other felonies. The Division has three focused units: Criminal Investigations, Crime Scene Investigation, and Special Investigations Unit. The division includes 30 detectives and detective supervisors, five crime scene investigators, and other technical and support personnel.
The Special Operations Division encompasses the Strategic Traffic Enforcement Unit, Community Resource Officers, Community Service Officers, and all the volunteer functions.
There are designated marine patrol officers who are assigned to waterway patrols. Some of the call-outs are completed in conjunction with other agencies, including the Brevard County Sheriff's Office and the Coast Guard. The Department may also be called upon to deal with homeland security issues related to the two main causeways in Melbourne, and can be involved in port and inlet security activities including the boarding of suspicious boats. Marine activities include patrols of canals in order to provide a police presence for homeowners and decrease waterfront crimes.
The Communications Center handles 130,000 calls to 9-1-1 and 1 million push-to-talk radio calls each year. Communication officers and dispatchers are the single link of our police officers and fire fighters, monitoring activities by radio and providing vital information to ensure their safety. The Communications Center receives, classifies, and prioritizes calls from the public and dispatches the calls that require police and/or fire/rescue response, and transfers and/or directs calls that do not require police response to the proper agency/unit. The Communications Center is a 24-hour operation, providing service seven days a week, including weekends and holidays.
Avidyne Corporation an avionics company has their HQ in Melbourne and is a developer of Integrated Avionics Systems, multi-function displays, and traffic advisory systems for light general aviation (GA) aircraft.
In 2007, the average size of Melbourne's labor force was 39,391. Of that group, 37,708 were employed and 1,683 were unemployed, for an unemployment rate of 4.3%.
In 2008, 259 building permits were issued for 263 units. There were 209 permits issued for 320 units in 2007, which was down from 329 permits for 512 units in 2006.
Historic Downtown Melbourne - among other retail outlets, this has 26 eating and drinking establishments within a four block extent.
The city has three hospitals, day care for senior citizens, hospice, walk-in, and urgent care facilities. There is Holmes Medical Center, and Melbourne Regional Medical Center. Kindred Hospital is a chronic care facility for ventilated patients and does not accept emergency patients. A new Viera hospital was opened in May 2011.
The city has two golf courses. There were 96,477 rounds played in 2009-10. Revenues were $2,207,502. Rounds and revenue have been dropping since 2006. in 2011, the city raised rates for residents to the same as for non-residents, $27 per round or $522 annual fee.
A monthly "Friday Fest" has been attended by 3,000 people and supported by 55 vendors.
Christian churches have been producing a "Bible on Parade" since 1990, each participating church portrays a book of the Bible. A spokesperson said in 2011 that it may be the only one of its kind in America. 
Prior to 1964, segregated schools were maintained for white students and black students under the doctrine of Separate but equal education. Black students were educated at Melbourne Vocational School from 1921 until it burned in 1953. For the next five years they met in the former hospital of the Naval Air Station, until Stone High School was opened in 1958. In 1964 the schools were integrated and Stone was repurposed as Stone Middle School.
WFIT 89.5 FM--this radio station is an NPR station based on the grounds of Florida Institute of Technology
Melbourne is part of the Orlando television market. Cable is provided by Spectrum.
The city is responsible for about 300 miles (480 km) of road. It would like to resurface 5% (15 miles (24 km)) of that each year. It was able to afford to pave half of that in 2013.
Roads in the older part of the city, in what is today the southeast, are oriented toward the north-south road, Babcock Street, with compass directions measured east and west from that road. In the same area, a very minor east-west road, Brevard Drive, separates compass directions north and south.
U.S. 1 - Known officially as Harbor City Boulevard, this road runs parallel to the Indian River on the far eastern side of the city. The highway is six-lanes throughout the city. Within the city limits, this road intersects two causeways: the Eau Gallie and Melbourne Causeways. Major intersections include University Boulevard, New Haven Avenue, U.S. 192, SR 508, CR 507, CR 5054, SR 518, CR 511, Lake Washington Road, and Post Road.
U.S. 192 - Locally named New Haven Avenue, and Strawbridge Avenue in downtown, this road passes through commercial, entertainment, and retail areas of Melbourne. It serves as a route to Kissimmee and the tourist corridor of Orlando to the west, and the town of Indialantic to the east via the Melbourne Causeway. Major intersections include Evans Road/Hollywood Boulevard, Dairy Road, SR 507/CR 507, New Haven Avenue, and U.S. 1.
Interstate 95 - This highway is six-lanes throughout its run in Melbourne. There are three exits within city limits: Exit 180 (U.S. 192), Exit 182 (Ellis Road), and Exit 183 (SR 518).
SR 507 - The state road portion of Babcock Street, this road runs from the city limits of Palm Bay to U.S. 192, serving the Florida Institute of Technology along the way. Major intersections include Florida Avenue, University Boulevard, and U.S. 192.
CR 507 - The county road portion of Babcock Street, this road runs from U.S. 192 to U.S. 1, serving one of the main economic centers of Melbourne. Major intersections include U.S. 192, SR 508, and U.S. 1.
CR 509 - Known locally as Wickham Road, this is one of the busiest roads in Melbourne: Up to 38,680 cars use Wickham Road weekdays, and the average is 33,850. Major intersections include Ellis Road/NASA Bouelvard, SR 5054/CR 5054, SR 518, CR 511, Lake Washington Boulevard, and Post Road.
CR 511 - Known almost universally as John Rodes Boulevard while north-south and Aurora Road while east-west, this road enters from West Melbourne and ends at U.S. 1, running through some impoverished areas of the town. Major intersections include Ellis Road, SR 518, CR 509, and U.S. 1.
SR 518 - Known locally as Eau Gallie Boulevard, this road's run is entirely in Melbourne, running from Interstate 95 to SR A1A over the Eau Gallie Causeway. It runs through the Eau Gallie Arts District. Major intersections include Interstate 95, SR 5054, CR 509, U.S. 1, SR 513, and SR A1A.
SR 5054 - The state road designation being entirely unsigned, the road is mostly known as Sarno Road. It has a short run from SR 518 to CR 509, where Sarno Road continues as CR 5054.
CR 5054 - The more urban portion of Sarno Road. Major intersections include CR 509, Croton Boulevard, Apollo Boulevard, and U.S. 1.
Traditional landline telephone service is mainly provided by AT&T, while some cable customers use Spectrum digital telephone (VOIP) service.
Internet service providers in Melbourne range from various 56 kbit/s providers, AT&T (formerly BellSouth) FastAccess DSL, and Spectrum cable internet. Fiber-optic networks are installed in the city mainly for business purposes and have not been integrated for home use.
The Water Department not only provides water for the city, but for surrounding towns and cities for a premium, including Melbourne Beach, Indialantic, Indian Harbour Beach, Satellite Beach, Palm Shores, Melbourne Village, West Melbourne, and a portion of unincorporated Brevard County south of the Pineda Causeway. In 2020, it served about 170,000 people. Wholesale water service is provided to West Melbourne. The total distribution area is about 100 square miles (259 km2) Two water treatment plants take water from Lake Washington and deep wells, providing 25,000,000 US gallons (95,000,000 litres; 21,000,000 imperial gallons) of drinking water per day. This water is treated with chloramine and ozone. Almost annually, the city is obliged to substitute the stronger free chlorine for the summer months when algae blooms are prevalent. In 2003, water rates were $2.27/1,000 US gallons (3,785 l) sewer $4.47/1,000 US gallons (3,785 l).
Solid waste removal and recycling is provided by Solid Waste Management, part of the city of Melbourne's Environmental Community Outreach (ECO) Division.
Melbourne Square, in the city of Melbourne, located on US 192 west of downtown, is the largest shopping area in Brevard County. In the 1960s, the motto of Melbourne was, "Crossroads to the Universe".