Moving Palm Bay Forward: City Manager One Year Report

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Since Gregg Lynk stepped into the role of City Manager last year Palm Bay has seen a great deal of positive growth and change. In April of 2015, Palm Bay City Council directed Lynk to address issues of public safety, move major projects forward, and pursue avenues for economic growth. The 1-year progress reports submitted by the city’s departments highlight a number of successes and provide a glimpse into the good things to come for Palm Bay’s continued advancement.

In 2015, a number of public safety needs were addressed, including upgrades to equipment and the purchase of 19 new police cars and 2 new fire trucks.  The police training facility, also  known as the Range, completed a $1 million improvement project funded by the Florida Legislature  and  improvements  at  the  facility  continue  after  being  awarded  an additional $800,000 in state funding. Meeting some of the critical public safety needs allowed for Palm  Bay Fire-Rescue crews to respond to nearly 14,000 calls for service, with over $30 million in property saved as a result. Additionally, in the past year the Palm Bay Police Department has reported a 9% drop in the city’s crime rate, attributing the decrease in part to the dedication of the officers and civilians connecting with the community and making public safety education a priority.

Under the direction of Mr. Lynk, the city has seen progress in many important projects and programs in the last year. In August, Council approved a budget for the roads program that has now reached $4.4 million. Based on recommendations from the City’s Road Advisory Board, the program began work in February of 2016. The program to date has completed the rejuvenation and full depth reclamation portions of the project and has the first full reconstruction project (St. Audre) fully funded. The Palm Bay Parks and Recreation department grew with the acquisition of three significant parcels of property from Brevard County which included Palm Bay Regional Park, The Greater Palm Bay Senior Center and the Palm Bay Aquatic Center. This acquisition included over $20 million in infrastructure, $500,000 in equipment and substantial financial contributions through the year 2020.

The strengthening real-estate market in Palm Bay has resulted in a residential and commercial development upswing. New and future development projects include the Southern I-95 Interchange Development, multiple new subdivisions, and over $30 million in new commercial development along the Bayfront. The Growth Management Department saw a significant increase in service demands from the development community with building permits issued valued at over $124 million dollars. The Economic Development and External Affairs Department (EDEA) was created in October of 2015 to capitalize on Palm Bay’s strengths and opportunities while mitigating weaknesses and threats in a competitive economic development environment.  The newly formed department brought in nearly $900,000 in revenue to the  city through real estate sales, special events revenues, grant funding and an inter-local agreement for vet services.

Lynk attributes the successes of year one to the support and trust he has received from council, city employees and the residents of Palm Bay. “We are only moving forward from here,” says Lynk. “I am grateful to the team of dedicated employees that have worked alongside me to execute the vision of council. The growth and success we have seen this year has truly been a team effort. I hope everyone is ready, because year two is going to bring even more to Palm  Bay and I can’t wait for everyone to experience it with  me.”

The City Manager's One Year Report can be found here with details outlining accomplishments  from  each department.