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AGO 1954 No. 238 - April 14, 1954
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT ‑- COUPON WARRANTS ‑- DISTRICT FUND IN WHICH PROCEEDS OF SUCH WARRANTS SHOULD BE PLACED.

Coupon warrants may be issued for any general fire protection district purpose.

The fund in which the proceeds of such warrants should be placed is determined by the purpose for which they are issued.

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                                                                   April 14, 1954

Honorable Hugh H. Evans
Prosecuting Attorney
Spokane CountyCourt House
Spokane 1, Washington                                                                                                         Cite as:   AGO 53-55 No. 238

Attention:  Mr. Robert J. McNichols, Deputy

Dear Sir:

            We have your letter of March 31, 1954, in which you request a formal opinion as follows:

            "(1) For what purposes may coupon warrants on fire protection districts be issued pursuant to Section 52.16.061 of the Revised Code of Washington?

            "(2) Into what fund should the proceeds of current and future coupon warrants be placed?"

            In our opinion such coupon warrants may be issued for any general district purpose.  The fund in which the proceeds of such warrants should be placed is determined by the purpose for which they are issued.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            RCW 52.16.061 as derived from section 3, chapter 176, Laws of 1953, provides in part as follows:

            "The board of fire commissioners of the district shall have authority to contract indebtednessfor any general district purpose and evidence the same by the issuance and sale * * * of coupon warrants of the district * * *" (Emphasis supplied)

            RCW 52.16.020 provides that the proceeds from the sale of coupon warrants heretofore authorized shall be placed by the county treasurer in the contract fund of the district.  RCW 52.16.061 authorizes the district board to place a sum out of the proceeds of the sale of coupon warrants sufficient to pay the first year's interest on such warrants in the coupon warrant fund of the district.

            We believe this provision to be significant.  The legislature had in mind the problem of making going concerns out of fire protection districts in their first year of operation.  It would be anomalous to have a fire hall complete with new fire trucks and equipment in a district unable to operate because revenues budgeted for current expenses were not yet available.  No fire calls would come in because no funds are available to install a telephone.  The fire trucks could not respond to calls because of the lack of gasoline.  The effect of the 1953 amendment is to enable new districts to operate through the financial medium of coupon warrants prior to the time revenue derived from taxation is available.

            We conclude that coupon warrants may be issued for general district purposes.  The fund in which the proceeds of such warrants should be placed is determined by the purpose for which they are issued.

Very truly yours,

DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General

ANDY ENGEBRETSEN
Assistant Attorney General

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