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AGO 1953 No. 40 - May 04, 1953
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- POWERS AND DUTIES ‑- USE OF COUNTY ROAD EQUIPMENT TO SPRAY GORSE GROWTH ON PRIVATE PROPERTY, IF OWNERS PAY FOR CHEMICALS USED.

County commissioners have no power to authorize county man power and equipment on private property for spraying gorse growth, even though the owners of said property pay for the chemicals used.

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                                                                    May 4, 1953 

Honorable James E. Duree
Prosecuting Attorney
Pacific County
P.O. Box 552
Raymond, Washington                                                                                                                Cite as:  AGO 53-55 No. 40

 Dear Sir:

             We acknowledge receipt of your letter of April 20, 1953, in which you request an opinion on the following question:

             "Can the County use County road equipment on private property to spray gorse growth if the owners of said property pay for the chemicals used?"

             Our conclusion may be summarized as follows:

             County commissioners have no power to authorize county man power and equipment on private property for spraying gorse growth, even though the owners of said property pay for the chemicals used.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

             RCW 36.82.220 establishes an "equipment rental and revolving fund" in each county of the state.  A portion of that statute reads:

             "County road equipment or materials owned by the equipment rental and revolving fund may be rented or sold to any agency of the United States of America, the state of Washington, and/or to any other county, city, town, or other municipal corporation.  * * *"

             This statute, enacted by the legislature in 1949, does not include the use of county road equipment for private purposes.

              [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            We enclose two prior opinions written by this office on related subject, one dated December 11, 1939, addressed to the prosecuting attorney of Kitsap County, and the other April 7, 1952, to the Ritzville Soil Conservation District [[Opinion No. 51-53-282]], in the conclusions of which we concur.

             It is our opinion that using the county road equipment on private land with a charge for the chemicals, amounts to a use of county equipment not authorized by the legislature.

 Very truly yours,
DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General 

PHYLLIS DOLVIN
Assistant Attorney General

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