Mayor Bob McCaslin Says Bonds Spent on Bentonville Resources Show Crystal Clear Effects

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Jul. 17, 2017 12:00 am   2 min read

Bob McCaslin, mayor of Bentonville (Beth Hall)

After graduating from Arkansas Tech University, Bob McCaslin, a native Arkansan, taught math and chemistry in public school for four years before joining Kraft Foods. Assignments with Kraft Foods took McCaslin and his family to Fort Smith; Houston; Memphis; Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri; Dallas; and Atlanta before their move to Bentonville in 1996.

Retired since February 2002, McCaslin has extensive experience in sales, sales management, operations management, customer service management and financial management. He is a member of the Bentonville-Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce and a former member of the board of Mercy Health System of Northwest Arkansas.

McCaslin served two terms as an alderman before being elected to his first term as mayor of Bentonville in November 2006.

Northwest Arkansas in general and Bentonville in particular are experiencing rapid population growth. What are the challenges of this growth?

Growth presents numerous challenges to municipalities, the most obvious of which is traffic management. Less obvious, but likely most important, is the increased demand growth places on our public safety team. Additionally, our utility infrastructure is challenged when growth is present over a significant period of time.

We strive also to provide adequate soft infrastructure that addresses the demand of additional users in our parks, trails, bicycle paths, playgrounds. I personally accept the challenge to preserve the proud heritage and family-friendly atmosphere Bentonville is known for. This includes engaging with staff and the private sector to help ensure development is responsible as well as beneficial to Bentonville’s future.

What are the opportunities presented by growth?

Providing municipal services in a more professional and efficient manner is a goal of mine as well as our management team. We have employed a variety of technologies in our utility services so that user rates remain as low as possible. We also prioritize projects so that we use available resources in a manner that produces the greatest return on investment. I and staff recognize the importance of hiring and training in order to capitalize on technological opportunities. We are committed to serving our customers with professionalism, character and integrity.

What’s the next big infrastructure project for Bentonville?

The partnership Bentonville has with the Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department and Wal-Mart for the construction of Eighth Street from Interstate 49 to SW I Street is in the early stage of construction. This project will include a new interchange connecting a new five-lane boulevard from near Northwest Arkansas Community College to South Walton Boulevard. The Eighth Street project was first announced in 2005 and clearly presents numerous challenges for all who partner on this endeavor.

What is your proudest accomplishment as mayor?

Voter approval of a capital bond proposal in August 2007. This voter-approved initiative provided the resources for projects that have helped transform Bentonville into the city we see today.

Some of my favorites include the renovation of the downtown square, Orchard Park, Lawrence Plaza Ice Rink/Splash Pad, SW I Street, Eighth Street West, East Central Avenue from the Bentonville Square to J Street, the upgrading of police and fire communications to a digital platform allowing mobile terminals in all vehicles, the implementation of a cart system for curbside recycling and trash disposal, NW Second Street, new soccer fields, the Community Center and the revitalization of the municipal airport.

Additionally, this month the city is relocating its electric, street, water, wastewater, warehousing, sign shop, traffic control center and fueling station to a new campus on 34 acres adjacent to our municipal airport. The previous 9-acre site has been sold to a private group with plans for redevelopment in the near future.



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