The contemporary City of Melbourne is the result of a merger of the separate communities of Melbourne and Eau Gallie. An election allowed the consolidation under a common charter on July 15, 1969.Today, the City is approximately 41 square miles in size, with about 75% of that land in use. The City of Melbourne population was 78,308 as of April 1, 2008, according to the University of Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research. The population of Melbourne continues to grow at a modest rate. Melbourne is located at the the center of a much larger urban area.Municipal government is responsible for providing vital services to City residents. In addition, drinking water services are provided to customers in a regional area that includes several other municipalities. To accomplish its mission, the City organization includes 870 full-time employees and 176 part-time workers, plus seasonal employees.Melbourne served as an official host city for the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay. The Olympic flame was carried across the nation before reaching Atlanta and the Olympic Centennial Games. Thousands of area residents enjoyed seeing the Torch Relay, which symbolized the competitive and unifying spirit of the Olympic Games.