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AGO 1954 No. 207 - February 16, 1954
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

COUNTIES ‑- PURCHASE AND OPERATION OF ROCK CRUSHING, GRAVEL OR OTHER ROAD BUILDING MATERIAL EXTRACTION EQUIPMENT ‑- FUNDS AVAILABLE THEREFORE.

County boards may make available the county road fund for the purchase and operation of rock crushing, gravel or other road building material extraction equipment.  The equipment rental and revolving fund may not be utilized for this purpose.

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                                                                February 16, 1954

Honorable Charles O. Carroll
Prosecuting Attorney
King County
County City Building
Seattle 4, Washington                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 53-55 No. 207

Attention:  V. D. Bradeson, Deputy

Dear Sir:

            We have your letter of February 4, 1954, in which you ask for an opinion of this office at the request of your county road engineer.  You specifically inquire whether or not the boards of the several counties may purchase and operate out of the equipment rental and revolving fund, rock crushing, gravel, or other road building material extraction equipment.

            In our opinion your question may be answered in the negative.  However, the board of county commissioners may utilize the county road fund for this purpose.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            RCW 36.82.220 which sets up the "equipment rental and revolving fund" provides in part that it

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "* * * shall be used by the county commissioners as a revolving fund to be expended only for * * * (4) purchase or manufacture of road or bridge material in advance of its use.  * * *"

            The same section further provides:

            "It shall be unlawful for the county commissioners of any county to charge the cost of * * * (4) road or bridge material purchased or manufactured in advance of its use to any fund except to the equipment rental and revolving fund."

            This statute was enacted in 1949.

            RCW 36.82.100 (1953 Supp.) provides in part:

            "The boards of the several counties may purchase and operate, out of the county road fund, rock crushing, gravel, or other road building material extraction equipment."

            This section was enacted in 1937 and reenacted in 1953.  There can be no conflict between the two statutes unless, in contemplation of law, the extraction and crushing of rock is the manufacture of road material.  An examination of the reported cases discloses that the rule is otherwise.  The following cases hold that the quarrying and crushing of rock is not manufacturing:  Wellington v. Belmont, Mass. 41 N.E. 62; Inhabitants of Leeds v. Maine Crushed Rock and Gravel Co., Maine, 141 Atl. 73;People ex rel. Tompkins Cove Stone Co. v. Saxe, 221 N.Y. 601, 117 N.E. 1081; see also 10 A.L.R. 1307.

            That the legislature subscribes to this proposition seems evident from the fact that RCW 36.82.220 was enacted in 1949 without mention of RCW 36.82.100, and from the additional circumstance that the latter section was reenacted in 1953, without mention of RCW 36.82.220.

            This view is in harmony with the rule that repeals by implication are not favored in the law and, wherever possible, two apparently conflicting statutes will be construed so as to harmonize their provisions and preserve the integrity of both.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]

            We conclude that county boards may make available the county road fund for the purchase and operation of rock crushing, gravel, or other road building material extraction equipment.  The equipment rental and revolving fund may not be utilized for this purpose.

Very truly yours,

DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General

ANDY ENGEBRETSEN
Assistant Attorney General

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