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National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, April 13-19

Melbourne, Fla., April 14, 2014 — The City of Melbourne is pleased to honor and recognize the professionalism and commitment to caring for others demonstrated by the men and women of the Melbourne Police Department (MPD) Communications Center. Every employee in the MPD Communications Center has exhibited compassion, understanding and professionalism during the performance of their job in the past year, and all citizens owe a debt of gratitude to these unseen emergency responders for their speed, tireless professionalism and commitment to caring for others.

The MPD Communications Center serves a critical function, handling 130,000 911 calls and 1 million push to talk radio calls each year. "They are fantastic at what they do," said Melbourne Police Chief Steve Mimbs. "They are the first point of contact for a person in crisis."

Adult Softball Registration Now Open

Melbourne, Fla., April 15, 2014 — Registration is now open for the City of Melbourne’s Adult Softball Leagues.

SCHEDULE: 14 games, plus double-elimination tournament.

START DATE: May 12, 2014

DIVISIONS: Adult Men’s- Monday, Open Tuesday, One Pitch and Women’s Wednesday,  Co- Ed Thursday, and Corporate Friday.

LOCATION: Southwest Park, 470 West Florida Ave., Melbourne

TEAM FEE:  $311.00- Make checks payable to City of Melbourne

REGISTRATION:  Teams may register at the Eau Gallie Civic Center, 1551 Highland Ave., Melbourne.  Deadline for all registration is May 2, 2014.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Pat Love at (321) 757-7149.

Traffic Alert for NASA Boulevard and Evans Road

Melbourne, Fla., April 11, 2014 — Drivers are asked to slow down and use extra caution when approaching the intersection of NASA Boulevard and Evans Road.

Sandhill cranes have nested close to the intersection and are darting in and out of the roadway in an attempt to guard their nest.

Do not disturb, feed or harass the birds. Sandhill cranes are protected under state law. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers will be on the scene and will issue citations to anyone they observe interfering with the birds.

This is only a temporary situation while the birds are nesting. Please call the FWC at 352-732-1225 if you have any questions about the cranes, or visit their website at: http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/imperiled/profiles/birds/florida-sandhill-crane/.

New Monitoring System to Reduce False Alarms, Save Money

Melbourne, Fla., April 11, 2014 — Security systems are great tools to protect residents and business owners, but they can be costly when triggered without an emergency. This month the Melbourne Police Department will begin implementing a new service that will reduce the costs and staff time once devoted to responding to false alarm calls and will improve service to alarm system owners in the City of Melbourne.

The Melbourne Police Department annually responds to approximately 1,900 false alarms. This not only interferes with the critical work of officers on patrol, it also creates a large burden of administrative work for department staff.

To address this problem, the City of Melbourne has updated its alarm ordinance to make the registration, permitting and false alarm fee schedule more clear to owners. The city has also hired PMAM Corporation to manage alarm permitting and renewals and false alarm tracking and billing.

PMAM operates and maintains false alarm tracking and billing systems for jurisdictions throughout North America. The City is expected to save significant staff time and resources by outsourcing these tasks to PMAM. The company will be paid based on a percentage of the revenue it collects.

Beginning April 14, PMAM representatives will be contacting alarm system owners and alarm installation and monitoring companies operating within Melbourne to inform them of the new program and any steps they need to take ensure their systems are up to date. PMAM will also handle education and outreach to help owners understand how to better prevent false alarms. Most false alarms are caused by human error, such as forgetting to turn off the system, entering through the wrong door, or accidentally pushing the panic button. The goal is to reduce the number of false alarm activations requiring a response by the Melbourne Police Department in order to free up police resources and reduce the fines levied on alarm customers.

On April 14, an online portal will be available to enable citizens to update their information at their convenience: https://www.cityalarmpermit.com/fams/citizen/city/melbourne

Alarm system owners with questions about the new programs may contact PMAM at 877-624-5046, or the Melbourne Police Department at esargent@melbourneflorida.org.

Teen Extreme Summer Camp Registration Opens April 12

The Teen Extreme summer camp is a great opportunity for kids ages 12* -15 years old to experience 9 weeks of non-stop fun summer activities. The camp includes field trips, games, arts & crafts, and much more. 

Click here to view field trip and activities schedule!

Camp Dates:
June 2, 2014 - August 1, 2014, Monday - Friday, 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Cost:
$133 per week for City of Melbourne residents; $160 per week for non-residents. Cost includes all activities. A one-time T-shirt fee of $10 is due at registration. 20% discount for each additional family member. Financial assistance is available for City of Melbourne residents.

Camp Registration:
You may register in person at the Eau Gallie Civic Center, or online (online user ID & password required). Bring your child’s birth certificate and parent/guardian proof of residency and ID. All camps are on first come, first served basis. If the week you desire is full, you may be put on a waiting list. You may pay with cash, check, Discover, Visa or MasterCard.

Registration Dates:
City Residents may register beginning Saturday, April 12, 2014,  9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Non-residents may register beginning Wednesday, April 16, 2014,  9:00 AM

For more information:
Please call the Eau Gallie Civic Center at 321-255-4608.

*Must be 12 by 12/31/14

Annual Trash Bash to be Held April 26; Registration Encouraged

Melbourne, Fla., March 31, 2014 — Volunteer registration is now open for the annual Trash Bash event, which will be held April 26, 8 a.m. – noon, at locations across Brevard County. The first 400 volunteers to pre-register in the City of Melbourne will receive a free T-shirt.

Each year hundreds of Trash Bash volunteers remove thousands of pounds of litter from the City. During the 2013 event alone 524 volunteers collected 11,431 pounds of litter, earning Melbourne the Large City Award through Keep Brevard Beautiful (KBB).

Local businesses support the event, and volunteers will receive all needed supplies, breakfast, water, and snacks. Participants can also receive community service hours for their efforts (required forms will be available at each site on the event day).

“This annual cleanup event is a hands-on opportunity to instill a sense of individual responsibility to the environment and community in which we live,” said Jennifer Thompson, environmental programs coordinator with the City’s Environmental Community Outreach Division. “It continues a tradition that has been sponsored nationally by Keep America Beautiful for a half-century as the Great American Cleanup, encouraging efforts to clean roadways, waterways, and parks.”

This year event organizers have targeted 13 areas in Melbourne with a goal of collecting at least 350 bags of litter. Melbourne check-in points include:

For More Information & To Register

Road Resurfacing Projects to Begin March 28

The following streets are scheduled to be resurfaced March 28 through April 4, 2014:

The City’s contractor, VA Paving Inc., will be starting work on Espanola Way. Paving and milling will occur between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Drivers may encounter periodic lane closures and detours. An Engineering Inspector will be on site during paving operations to minimize any disruptions.   

During this time, drivers are asked to refrain from parking on the street during daylight hours. At the discretion of the Inspector vehicles left unattended on the street may be towed. As soon as the asphalt is placed drivers may resume normal activities, and all cleanup should be completed within 48 hours of asphalt placement.  

Work on these streets is part of a larger project to resurface a total of 8.34 miles of streets in the city this year. (See attached map.) The entire project will be completed within 120 days. 

The Melbourne City Council voted to increase the millage rate for this fiscal year in order to put more money toward road resurfacing projects. Because it is far less expensive to maintain roads through resurfacing than to rebuild them, the Melbourne City Council has been proactive on road maintenance and has each year dedicated any possible additional funding to paving projects.

Traffic Delays Possible During This Weekend's Runaway Country Event

Melbourne, Fla., March 20, 2014 — Drivers should expect possible delays near Wickham Park during the “Runaway Country” event, which begins the afternoon of March 21 and ends the evening of March 23.

Event traffic will be routed in a clockwise direction around Wickham Park to allow for right turns into the parking area and to help keep traffic moving smoothly.

While no streets will be closed, the following traffic movements will not be allowed during portions of each day of the event:

•           Wickham Road from Post Road to Parkway Drive – No southbound left turns.

•           Parkway Drive – No eastbound left turns.

•           Croton Road – No parking along roadway..

Undercover Officer is named Melbourne Police Department's "Top Cop"

Melbourne, Fla., Mar. 18, 2014 — A 19-year Melbourne Police veteran, who was called upon to go undercover as a "hitman," has been named the department's 2013 Officer of the Year.

In January 2013, the Melbourne Police Criminal Investigations Unit and Special Operations Unit conducted an intense and in-depth "murder for hire" investigation. When the Melbourne Police Department learned that the suspect was looking to hire someone to kill the friend of a family member and dispose of the body, an investigation was immediately launched. Detective Rondey Anderson was placed in contact with the suspect. Detective Anderson was introduced to the suspect as having the capability to perform the murder and the means to dispose of the body. Detective Anderson met with the suspect numerous times and had telephone contacts with him to gain his confidence and prove he could be trusted to perform the deed. These meetings placed Detective Anderson in dangerous situations.

When the intended victim was informed of what was transpiring, he was placed in a confined location appearing to be "missing." Detective Anderson now notified the suspect that the murder had been carried out. During the last meeting Detective Anderson had with the suspect, he was to be paid the rest of the money owed for the murder. At that meeting, the suspect was placed into custody. If not for the role performed by Detective Anderson and his quick decision making in his responses to the suspect, the victim's safety would have remained in peril.

"Detective Anderson's overall performance is outstanding," said Melbourne Police Chief Steve Mimbs. "The dedication, persistence and commitment demonstrated by Detective Anderson exemplify the distinctive qualities and accomplishments of an outstanding police officer and reflect highly upon the law enforcement profession."

Detective Anderson will now be an eligible nominee for the 2013 Brevard County Officer of the Year. He was honored at an awards ceremony on Monday, March 17, along with Melbourne Police Employee of the Year, Jeff Blohm. Communications Supervisor Blohm received this recognition for his exceptional ability to provide officers with the accurate, timely information they need to safely do their jobs in the field. In January 2013, Blohm relayed suspect descriptions and important officer safety issues that assisted with the apprehension of a bank robbery suspect that fled the crime scene in a taxi cab.

Tip-a-Cop Event Raises Funds for Special Olympics

On March 10, the Melbourne Police Department and Charlie and Jake's teamed up to raise funds for Special Olympics Florida. Through Special Olympics Torch Run merchandise sales, donations, tips earned by police personnel and a percentage of Charlie and Jake's food sales, a total of $1,552 was raised in four hours.

The Melbourne Police Department is planning to work with other community businesses in the near future to raise additional funds for Special Olympics Florida and will also participate in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run on April 25.

For more information, please contact Sergeant Sheridan Shelley at 321-608-6519.

Well Testing Water Disposal to Begin on March 17

Melbourne, Fla., March 10, 2014 — State-required testing of the deep well that receives much of Melbourne's treated wastewater is planned to begin on March 17 and may necessitate the temporary discharge of treated effluent into Crane Creek.

Both state and federal environmental agencies require testing every five years to confirm that the disposal well that extends 2,500 feet into the ground is functioning properly. The city's two wastewater reclamation facilities send effluent to the well, which is located just south of Crane Creek.

Water Reclamation Superintendent Eric Blankman said that during the test period, which can extend to five days, efforts will be made to minimize discharges into the creek. Storage facilities will be utilized, and the amount of reclaimed water sent into the community for irrigation will be maximized.

Blankman said that extra treatment measures will be taken to ensure that water going into the creek poses no risk to human health or to marine organisms.

We have to meet very stringent water quality criteria during this planned, mandated event, and we will be continuously monitoring all parameters of the effluent to ensure compliance," Blankman said. The effluent going into the creek will be odorless and will appear cleaner than the dark-colored water that naturally occurs in the waterway.

Additional information is available from Eric Blankman at 321-255-4617.

Melbourne Police Department Graduates Eight New VCOPs

On March 6 eight citizens officially became the newest members of the Volunteer Citizens Observer Patrol (VCOP) during a graduation ceremony at the Melbourne Police Department.

VCOPs assist the police with essential public services, including vacation home checks, traffic safety, homeland security checks, special events, and patrols and parking. Each of the volunteers completed a 40-hour course that included instruction in CPR, traffic control, defensive driving, and school crossing guard training along with a variety of other patrol procedures.

The Melbourne Police Department is currently accepting applications for new VCOPs. Applicants must process a valid Florida driver's license, be U.S. citizens at least 21 years of age, complete a background check, and be willing to volunteer at least 12 hours a month. The next training session will be announced later this year. For more information call 321-608-6336.

"Tip-a-Cop" Fundraiser to Benefit Special Olympics

On Monday, March 10, a group of Melbourne Police officers will be protecting and "serving" in an entirely different fashion when they bus tables, fill drinks and help carry food to customers from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Charlie and Jake's Bar-B-Que, 445 E. Eau Gallie Boulevard. In return, the officers are seeking donations, in the form of tips, to benefit Special Olympics Florida and the Law Enforcement Torch Run. The Torch Run is part of a year-round fundraising campaign by law enforcement agencies to benefit their local Special Olympics Program. In addition to the donations made by diners, Charlie and Jake's Bar-B-Que will be contributing 10 percent of the proceeds earned during the event.

The mission of Special Olympics Florida is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

•      What: Melbourne Police "Tip-A-Cop" event
•      When: March 10th – 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
•      Where: Charlie and Jake's Bar-B-Que – 445 E. Eau Gallie Blvd., Indian Harbour Beach
•      Why: To raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics

Future "Tip-a-Cop" events will be held at local Starbucks cafes. (Dates to be announced soon.)

Anyone wishing to receive more information about this event may contact Sergeant Sheridan Shelley at 321-608-6519. For more information on Special Olympics Florida, please visit specialolympicsflorida.org.

New Signal to Improve Traffic Conditions, Reduce Accidents on Wickham Road

Melbourne, Fla., Feb. 26, 2014 — Residents of the Pebble Creek, Arbors at Longleaf, and Preserve at Longleaf neighborhoods along Wickham Road in Melbourne will soon have an easier time entering and exiting their subdivisions thanks to a new traffic signal that will be installed this year. The Wickham Forest neighborhood and nearby commercial properties will also benefit from the new traffic signal.

The Melbourne City Council agreed last night to approve an interlocal agreement between the City and Brevard County to fund the construction of the signal at the intersection of Wickham Road and Pebble Creek/Preserve Drive. The Council approved funding $402,316 toward the construction of the signal and also approved the transfer of $160,215 from Transportation Impact Fees to fund the project. Brevard County will install and maintain the signal.

A disproportionate number of car accidents in the City of Melbourne occur along the Wickham Road corridor. Adding a signal here will help prevent accidents by making it easier and safer for drivers to enter and exit these neighborhoods. This will become even more important as more homes are constructed in the Pineda Springs Subdivision.

New One Pitch Softball League Begins This Spring

Melbourne, Fla., February 25, 2014 — The City of Melbourne will be hosting a new one pitch adult softball league on Wednesday nights beginning April 2, 2014. Games will be held at Southwest Park on Florida Avenue.

Cost is $250 per team and includes a 10-game season (two games per night), one umpire and one scorekeeper. There will be a single elimination tournament at the end of the season, and trophies will be provided.

Teams may register at Eau Gallie Civic Center March 3 – March 21. There will be a coaches meeting on March 26 at 7 p.m.

For more information, please contact Pat Love at (321) 255-4608 or plove@melbourneflorida.org.

Try Zumba & Gymboree for Free at Eau Gallie Civic Center

Melbourne, Fla., Feb. 20, 2014 — The Eau Gallie Civic Center will be offering free classes during the first week of March to anyone interested in trying Zumba or Gymboree.

Zumba: Zumba classes feature exotic rhythms set to high-energy Latin and international beats. Classes are held on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. and on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. The regular price is $5 per class with some discount rates available for class packages.

— Free Zumba classes will be held March 4 at 9 a.m. and March 5 at 6 p.m.

Gymboree: The Eau Gallie Civic Center will begin holding Gymboree classes in March. Gymboree is designed for young children (18 months – 5 years) and features hands-on art activities including painting, sculpture, drawing, collage, dramatic play and more, to encourage confidence and support artistic potential. Parents participate with their children. Classes will be held Mondays in March from 2:45 p.m. until 3:45 p.m. Regular rates for a 4-week session are $70 per child with a $50 per child rate for siblings. Drop-in rates are $15/class and $12/class for siblings (RSVP required one day prior to class).

— A free Gymboree preview class will be held on Monday, March 3, at 2:45 p.m.

Location: Both Zumba and Gymboree classes will be held at the Eau Gallie Civic Center, 1551 Highland Avenue, Melbourne.

For more information call 321-255-4608.

Chuck Bogle Appointed Acting Chief of the Melbourne Fire Department

Melbourne, Fla., Feb. 18, 2014 — Chuck Bogle, the Melbourne Fire Department's assistant chief of operations, will serve as acting chief of the Melbourne Fire Department when Chief Paul Forsberg retires on February 28, 2014, at 5 p.m. City Manager Mike McNees made the appointment today.

"We are fortunate to have someone with Assistant Chief Bogle's experience to take on the role of Acting Fire Chief during this period of transition," said McNees. "With his leadership, and the experienced assistance of Marty Rethwisch, Assistant Chief of Administration, the Melbourne Fire Department will be in good hands."

Bogle has served as assistant chief of the Melbourne Fire Department since July 2013. Before coming to Melbourne, he was chief of fire departments in Fernandina Beach and Titusville. He has served in fire service for more than 30 years.

Assistant Chief Bogle will work with Chief Forsberg through the end of the month on the transition. Forsberg announced his retirement on Feb. 5, 2014.

City of Melbourne Now Recruiting for Summer Pool Positions

Melbourne, Fla., Feb. 17, 2014 — Although the swimming season is still a couple of months away, the City of Melbourne is currently searching for summer staff to help operate the city's three municipal pools May 24 – September 1, 2014.

The city is currently accepting applications for the following positions: pool supervisor, pool manager, lifeguard, swim instructor and head swim instructor. Hiring will begin this month and will continue until the positions are filled.

"These are great seasonal jobs for high school and college students," said Recreation Superintendent Pat Love. "The jobs provide good work experience in positions of responsibility, and you get to be outdoors around people who are enjoying their recreation time." Love also anticipates also hiring some parents and teachers who are looking for summer work.

Positions vary in job requirements and pay levels. Lifeguards must be at least 15 years of age and must have Red Cross certification. Swim instructors must be at least 16 years old and must have completed the Red Cross water safety instructor course. Lifeguard pay starts at $8.35 per hour, and swim instructor pay starts at $8.50 per hour.

To learn more about these opportunities, please contact Pat Love at 757-7149. A complete job listing is available at www.melbourneflorida.org/employ/jobsout.htm.

Melbourne Fire Crew Recognized for Life-Saving Response & Rescue

Melbourne, Fla., Feb. 13, 2014 — In recognition for their exceptional work and heroism in saving the life of a disabled man from a January fire, the Melbourne Fire Department presented a Unit Citation to the Station 75 Engine Crew of Lieutenant Roger Van Kramer, Lt. Dan Morton, Firefighter Jeff Marcan and Firefighter Kevin Hardy during the Melbourne City Council Meeting on February 11, 2014. A Unit Citation is awarded for a team effort under combat conditions including all participating staff members who, in support of departmental operations, distinguish themselves to protect life and property.

In addition, a Life Saving Award was presented to Jeff Marcan and Kevin Hardy, the two firefighters who rescued the man from the burning building. "Lifesaving awards are rare," said Melbourne Fire Chief Paul Forsberg." I have only presented the award one other time in my 9 years with the Melbourne Fire Department. For a firefighter, this is a once in a lifetime type of call." A Life Saving award is given in recognition of an act performed in the line of duty, which through disregard of personal safety or prompt and alert reaction, results in saving a life.

On Jan. 4, Lt. Morton* noticed smoke coming from 200 E. University Blvd. The crew of Lt. Van Kramer, Lt. Morton, and Firefighters Marcan and Hardy called in the fire and responded. Marcan and Hardy entered the 2-story townhouse, while Van Kramer set up command of the fire and Morton secured a water supply for the entry team.

An occupant told the crew that there was a disabled man trapped on the 2nd floor outside of the room that was on fire. Firefighters Marcan and Hardy entered the townhouse and rescued the man. Without the quick actions of the crew in responding to the fire and rescuing the man inside, he may not be alive today.

"The whole reason the Fire Department exists is to respond to emergencies and to save lives," Forsberg said. "While we accomplish these goals on a daily basis in numerous ways, rarely does it take heroic efforts such as these."

*Dan Morton was a Driver Engineer when the incident occurred on January 4, 2014. He was promoted to Lieutenant on February 1, 2014.

Melbourne Police Department Issues Phone Scam Warning

The Melbourne Police Department would like to warn the public about a phone scam that could cost victim's thousands of dollars.

On Wednesday, two separate restaurants in Melbourne received calls from a male who stated he was a bill collector for FPL. In the first incident, the suspect told an employee of a local diner that the business owed $1,983.00 for service that had not been paid. He then went on to say that if this payment was not made via a Green Dot Money Pak card (prepaid cash card) within 45 minutes, all power service to the business would be turned off. As a diner employee drove to a local Walmart to purchase a Green Dot card, the suspect called back and was able to obtain banking information from the restaurant. Once this phone call was complete, the business owner contacted FPL and was informed that the phone calls did not originate from FPL or anyone that represents them. The restaurant's bank was notified before any monetary loss occurred.

During the second incident, the suspect called another local restaurant and also informed them that they owed money for FPL services in the sum of $1,489.23. Again, the caller instructed the business to purchase Green Dot Money Pak cards and supply him with the payment information within 45 minutes. Unfortunately in this case, the restaurant manager complied. Once the transaction was complete, the business discovered it was the victim of a scam.

"If you receive an unsolicited phone call from anyone that is telling you that you owe money, do not give them payment until you can verify their claim," says Melbourne Police Community Services Sergeant, Luis Lopez.

According to the their website, FPL will never call and ask for credit card information or take prepaid cards as payment, nor do they ask for any personal information from customers unless the customer initiates the contact.

Anyone who feels they may have fallen victim to a similar scam is encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency.

Annual Florida Friendly Landscaping Seminar to be held Feb. 22

Get gardening tips from the experts at the Florida Friendly Landscaping Seminar. This free event will feature a presentation by Tom MacCubbin, author, television personality and host of the Better Lawns and Gardens radio show.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a soil sample that they would like to have tested (for free). Every attendee will go home with a goodie bag filled with gardening supplies, like rain gages, hose nozzles, and mud gloves, and an understanding of how to intertwine gardening practices with our unique environment. Coffee and breakfast will be provided.

Admission is FREE.

Advanced registration is required:

WHERE: Eau Gallie High School Performing Arts Center, 1400 Commodore Blvd., Melbourne, 32935

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

AGENDA

8:30 a.m.     Check-in, Display Viewing and Plant Sale

9:00 a.m.     Introduction and Welcome
                      Jennifer Wilster, Environmental Community Outreach Manager, City of Melbourne

9:15 a.m.     The Indian River Lagoon Begins in Your Backyard
                      Kathy Hill, Education Coordinator, Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program

10:00 a.m.   Gardeners' To-do List to Help Protect the Indian River Lagoon
                       Sally Scalera, Horticulture Agent, UF/IFAS - Brevard County Extension Office

10:45 a.m.    Display Viewing and Plant Sale

11 a.m.          Florida's 20 Most Unwanted Invasive Species
                        Linda Seals, Director, UF/IFAS - Brevard County Extension Office

11:45 a.m.    Right Plant, Right Place
                       Featured Speaker Tom MacCubbin, Host of the Better Lawns and Gardens Radio
                       Show

12:45 p.m.   Closing Remarks and Door Prize Drawing
                      Jennifer Wilster, Environmental Community Outreach Manager, City of Melbourne

1:30 pm.      Exhibits and Plant Sale Close

WHY: The goal of this annual event is to show homeowners how they can help address the environmental problems that plague our natural areas. Participants will learn best practices in landscaping that help reduce runoff and pollution of the Indian River Lagoon, save water, and eliminate invasive plants. The event is a collaboration of the cities of Melbourne and Palm Bay, Brevard County Natural Resource Management Department, Brevard County Utilities Department, University of Florida Extension Office - Brevard County, Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, Keep Brevard Beautiful, and Blue Life.

Turtle Mound Road Extension to Open February 7

A new segment of Turtle Mound Road connecting Eau Gallie Boulevard to Aurora Road will open by noon on February 7. This road extension will alleviate traffic congestion on Wickham Road and John Rodes Boulevard and will improve north/south traffic in this area.

The right-of-way for the Turtle Mound Road extension was dedicated as public roadway as part of the Veranda Place Subdivision platting process. The extension of Turtle Mound Road was a long-range project identified in both the City of Melbourne Comprehensive Plan and the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization's Long Range Transportation Plan.

The scope of work consists of constructing approximately 2,100 ft. of two-lane, curbed roadway with bike lanes and sidewalk.

New Aerial Platform Fire Truck Will Make Rescues Easier, Safer and Faster

The Melbourne Fire Department has acquired a new aerial platform truck that will increase service levels and improve fire ground operations. The truck, a Sutphen SP-95, was delivered on January 26, 2014. Fire staff began training exercises this week. The truck will be placed in service in March 2014 once training is complete and all equipment is installed.

The new truck's 95' platform ladder will enable the Melbourne Fire Department to reach up two floors higher than it could with its 75' ladder truck. The new truck will be kept at Station 74 (1500 Hickory St., Melbourne), which is close to the hospital, Historic Downtown Melbourne, and most of the high-rise buildings in the city.

"The platform on the end of the ladder will make elevated rescues easier, faster and safer," said Melbourne Fire Chief Paul Forsberg. "Firefighters will not have to rely on ropes and knots to rescue people from the roofs of shorter buildings, and rescues will be faster because less set-up time will be required."

The new truck also weighs 18,000 pounds less than the existing 75' truck, and will therefore be less expensive to operate and service.

City of Melbourne Now Accepting Applications for New Advisory Board Members

City of Melbourne Now Accepting Applications for New Advisory Board Members

The City of Melbourne is actively seeking volunteers to serve on volunteer advisory boards that help guide the city in the areas of affordable housing and community redevelopment.

Serving on a city board is a great way to directly impact issues in the city that you care about. Board service also gives you the opportunity to build new skills, gain leadership experience, and expand your professional and personal network.

The city currently has openings on the boards listed below. To find out how you can get involved, call the City Clerk's Office at 321-608-7220 or send an e-mail to cityclerk@melbourneflorida.org.

Affordable Housing Advisory Committee: There is one vacancy on this committee. To qualify, you must be a registered voter who is actively engaged in the residential home building industry in connection with affordable housing. Residency in the City of Melbourne is not required. The Affordable Housing Committee reviews established policies and procedures, ordinances, land development regulations and the Comprehensive Plan of the City and recommends specific actions or initiatives to encourage or facilitate affordable housing. The board meets quarterly (March, June, September, and December) at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.

Citizens' Advisory Board: There are two vacancies on this board for citizens who want to help preserve and increase the supply of affordable housing in the City of Melbourne. The Citizens' Advisory Board aids in the planning, oversight and evaluation of federal- and state-funded housing and community development programs and advises the City Council on ways to improve the quality of life in the city's low-income neighborhoods. Applicants must be registered voters who live inside the Melbourne city limits. The board meets the first Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber.

Babcock Street Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Committee: The city is seeking two new members to serve on this committee. Applicants must be registered voters who live in Melbourne or work in the redevelopment district. The committee acts in an advisory capacity to the City Council and prepares recommended plans and modifications for redevelopment projects in the Babcock Street Redevelopment Area. Meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of February, April, June, August, October and December at 8:00 a.m. in the Council Chamber.

Building Board of Adjustment and Appeals: This board considers appeals of decisions and interpretations made by the city's building official. The board meets on request – about once every 12 to 18 months. The city is looking for two new members – one with expertise in engineering and one to serve as an alternate. Applicants must be registered voters who live in Melbourne.

Historic Preservation Board: This board is vested with the power, authority and jurisdiction to recommend local historic designations and to regulate and administer historical, cultural, archaeological and architectural resources in the City of Melbourne. There is currently one vacancy on this board. Interested applicants must be registered voters and should have an expertise or interest in the field of historic restoration and preservation. Melbourne residency is preferred but not required. The board meets the third Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber.

Yvonne Minus Joins the Melbourne City Council

During a special meeting of the Melbourne City Council on January 16, Yvonne Minus was appointed to serve as Council Member for District 3, filling the vacancy left by the death of Harry Goode. Ms. Minus will serve in this role until the November 2014 elections.

Residents Can Help Local Schools by Donating Their Old Recycling Bins

When Waste Management made the switch to the 64-gallon rolling carts for curbside recycling, many residents cheered but also ended up with unneeded 14-gallon bins left in their garages. At the same time, local schools in need of bins for their classroom recycling programs found they were unable to get the smaller, 14-gallon bins anymore. To meet the needs of both groups, the City of Melbourne is teaming up with Keep Brevard Beautiful to collect unwanted recycling bins, clean them and bring them to schools in need.

On Saturday, January 25, 2014, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. residents can support this effort by dropping off unwanted recycling bins at Sandpiper Sportswear located at 751 Enterprise Court, Suite J, in Melbourne. Bins may also be dropped off at the City of Melbourne Environmental Community Outreach office, located at 2885 Harper Road in Melbourne, daily between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., January 27 January 31.

The City of Melbourne and Keep Brevard Beautiful saw a need and decided to step in, said Jennifer Thompson, Melbourne's environmental programs coordinator. I personally feel strongly about this aspect of our City and want to always enable people with the right tools to recycle and keep our earth as clean as possible.

The groups are aiming to collect 95 bins for 5 local schools. Teachers prefer the 14-gallon recycling bins because their distinctive look reinforces the message to children that recyclable items go in a different bin than the trash can.

Donated bins do not have to be clean. City of Melbourne and Keep Brevard Beautiful staff will clean the bins and deliver them to the schools or will have a school representative collect them at the events conclusion.

For more information about the program, contact Jennifer Thompson, Environmental Programs Coordinator, City of Melbourne, 321-608-5082.

City of Melbourne Nationally Recognized for Excellence in Financial Practices

The City of Melbourne recently received two national awards of excellence in recognition of its investment policies and financial reporting practices. 

“These awards reflect the City’s commitment  to proper stewardship of public funds, as well as the high quality work of Finance Director Michele Ennis and her entire department,” said Melbourne City Manager, Mike McNees. 

In November, the Association of Public Treasurers of the United States and Canada honored the City with its Investment Policy Certificate of Excellence Award. The award recognizes investment plans that are designed to safeguard city funds; have sufficient liquidity to ensure funding is available to pay for city services and projects; and earn a good yield on investments. 

Also in November, the City was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). The Certificate is GFOA’s highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. 

The Certificate of Excellence is awarded to municipalities with reports meeting the association’s high standards, including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story. An individual Award of Financial Reporting Achievement was also awarded to Michele Ennis, Director of Finance, for her leadership efforts. 

GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles. The City of Melbourne has received this award each time it has applied for it in the past 25 years.

Riverfront Meeting & Event Space Available at the Front Street Civic Center
Melbourne's Front Street Civic Center offers meeting and event space with one of the best views in town. The facility is adaptable to wedding receptions, business luncheons/meetings, volunteer appreciation events, training sessions, and parties. Groups may rent the entire building, one large room that has views of the river, or a small room for smaller events and meetings. Large grounds and a gazebo provide lovely settings for outdoor activities, as well. 

The Front Street Civic Center is located in historic downtown Melbourne at 2205 S. Front Street, Melbourne. Standard rental hours are 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Early entry is available beginning at 7 a.m. for an additional charge of $75. 

Rental price includes use of the kitchen's food warmer, microwave and refrigerator, as well as set-up and use of the center's tables and chairs:

Options & Rates 

Whole Building:

Large Room:

The large room is located on the east side of the building adjacent to the river. Glass panel doors provide a view of the river and patio area.

Small Room:

The small room is located on the west side of the building. (It does not offer a view of the river.)

There is an additional charge of $50 plus tax (resident) and $60 plus tax (non-resident) for use of the gazebo. Clean up and trash removal are not included. 

Book Your Event Today!

For more information and to reserve space for your next meeting or event, contact: (321) 674-5700 or auditorium@melbourneflorida.org.

$50 Rebates Available Through New Rain Barrel Program

Residential water customers residing within the city limits of Melbourne are eligible to participate in the city’s new rain barrel rebate program. By installing a new 50-gallon or larger rain barrel, qualifying customers will receive one $50 rebate.

In addition to receiving a $50 rebate check, participating homeowners will also save money on their water bills. By using rainwater captured in rain barrels for routine water uses such as washing cars, filling ponds and fountains, and watering plants, the average homeowner can expect to save about 500 gallons of water per month with one rain barrel. Savings are even greater for homeowners who have more than one rain barrel and use the harvested rainwater for watering large yards/landscaped areas and other purposes.  

“People don’t typically realize how much water they are actually using for these activities,” said Environmental Community Outreach Manager Jennifer Wilster. “If we had 1,000 55-gallon rain barrels being used in Melbourne, and there were just 10 half-inch rain events in a year, 550,000 gallons of drinking water would be saved.” 

In addition to helping homeowners conserve water, rain barrels also help protect the Indian River Lagoon by reducing the amount of rainwater entering the stormwater system. During storms, rain barrels capture rainwater that otherwise would have rushed off of roofs, onto paved areas and into storm drains. This water can then be released more slowly, which in turn decreases pollutant loads and increases absorption by plants. 

Residential City of Melbourne water customers within Melbourne’s city limits are eligible to participate. An application and an original sales receipt dated between Oct. 1, 2013, and Sept. 30, 2014, are required.  Only one rebate will be provided per residential account, and rebates will be fulfilled on a first-come, first served basis until funds are depleted.  

For details about program requirements and to download the application form, please visit: http://www.melbourneflorida.org/watercon/rainbarrel.htm 

Rebate application packets are also available by calling the Environmental Community Outreach (ECO) Division at (321) 608-5080 or e-mailing jwilster@melbourneflorida.org.

Water Lawns Only One Day a Week Beginning Nov. 3

Landscape irrigation will again be restricted to one day a week when Eastern Standard Time begins on Sunday, Nov. 3. The restrictions apply to water withdrawn from ground or surface water, from a private well or pump, or from a public or private water utility. 

Lawns need less water during the fall and winter, therefore healthy landscapes can be maintained by watering one day per week. Landscape irrigation will return to the two-day-a-week schedule when Daylight Saving Time returns on March 9, 2014. 

During Eastern Standard Time (Nov. 3, 2013 – Mar. 9, 2014), the following schedule applies:

More details and information about the restrictions and exceptions are available on the St. Johns River Water Management District's watering restrictions web page.