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story.lead_photo.caption Larry Wilms

• Background

Larry Wilms has lived in Bella Vista for 13 years after moving from southeast Wisconsin.

Wilms said he has about 45 years total experience working with municipal governments in a wide variety of positions.

His resume lists 21 years working as a consulting engineer for cities and utility districts, more than 11 years working as a city engineer and assistant city engineer, 13 years as a water and sanitary sewer system manager and utility engineer and his current work for the city of Centerton in the planning department.

He's served in multiple administrative roles on the service club and professional association groups.

Wilms is an active member of the American Water Works association and currently serves on the Board of Zoning Adjustment for Bella Vista.

"My experience and background bring a depth that probably no other candidate brings to the table," he said.

• On city council

Wilms said he believes a council member's responsibility is "to govern a local community in the best interest of its citizens in the short and long term."

Their work should be efficient and ecological, he said.

The city also has excellent police, fire and streets departments, which council members need to be able to provide a good vision for.

If elected, Wilms said he would like to build economic development by establishing a municipal water system, which is necessary to provide water to non POA property within the city.

"We have lots of vacant land," he said. "Development there needs a city water department."

• The issues

The city is facing a series of significant expenses, he said, including a new city hall and police station and fire department training facility, in addition to the ongoing maintenance of city infrastructure. It will be important for council members to prioritize these needs, he said.

The city and POA ahve separate functions and objectives, he said, with the POA existing to serve members and the city responsible for everyone within its bounds.

"Both have important functions for Bella Vista and it's important that they are able to work together as two organizations for the betterment of Bella Vista," he said.

With ongoing growth, he said, the city has plenty of space that can be used to make more homes, most of which already has water and septic available.

"Our growth focus really needs to be for commercial and other types of development for employment and... tax revenue," he said. "We have land for that commercial development ... the limitation is lack of city water service."

General News on 10/10/2018

Print Headline: Ward 2 candidate: Larry Wilms

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