October 28, 2021 — Commissioner Robert Larson has announced that he will retire from his elected post of Port of Benton Commissioner where he holds the position of Vice-President of the three-member board. Commissioner Larson has served as a Port of Benton Commissioner since 1994 while championing numerous remarkable projects in his twenty-seven years in service to the community. Commissioner Larson and wife Shirley look forward to leisure time spent with their two daughters as well as plenty of golf and travel adventures.
The Port of Benton was formed in 1958 for the express purpose of creating economic development opportunity in the northern and western portions of Benton County, including the jurisdictions of Prosser, Benton City, and Richland. Commissioner Larson has been innately linked to many of the Port’s major modern investments and expansions. His tenure on the commission shared in the first transfer of federal land under the 1994 Defense Authorization Act – resulting in the transfer of the Hanford 3000 and 1100 areas into Port ownership and operation, transfer of the Port’s 16-mile short-line railroad, expansion of the Tri-Cities Research District and acquisition of the 1,641 acres by local jurisdictions for the development of an advanced clean energy manufacturing park.
Commissioner Larson’s personal efforts resulted in his most prized accomplishment of the Port, securing the USS Triton sail and conning tower from the US Department of the Navy and having it placed in the purpose-built USS Triton Sail Park in North Richland.
Reflecting on his decision, Commissioner Larson feels confident in the capability of his fellow Commissioners and Port of Benton staff, noting, “While there is rarely a good time to step down from public service, I’ve had the pleasure to see our community, staff, and fellow commissioners partner to bring forth many transformative projects to our region. With the announcement of the White Bluffs Archive and Storage Project, foundations for a community led supply chain alliance, and WSU Tri-Cities involvement in the Walter Clore Center I feel many of my personal goals for the Port’s growth are well on their way to fruition.”
Commissioner Larson extends his appreciation to the community for their trust in his contributions to the Port over the past twenty-seven years, and notes that he will continue to remain active in the community through his participation in the Richland Rotary Club.
The Port of Benton will soon announce an application process for eligible residents to apply for the newly vacated seat on its website portofbenton.com and vet the qualifications of applicants at an upcoming special commission meeting.