Benton County officials are mourning the loss of a current fire commissioner and former county commissioner.
Max Benitz Jr., 72, passed away in Prosser. He had been a fire commissioner for Benton County Fire District #3 since 2011. Prior to his time there, Benitz served four terms on the County's Board of Commissioners from 1995-2010.
He was known for his work with farmers, agriculture and water issues. In a press release from Benton County, Benitz was at the forefront of the Black Rock Reservoir proposal and the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project.
During his time as a fire commissioner, Benitz helped replace an apparatus, implement a dozer program and form intergovernmental relationships.
County offices will lower their flags to half-staff on July 12 to July 15 in remembrance of Max Benitz Jr.