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AGO 1952 No. 406 - September 19, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

CIVIL DEFENSE ‑- EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS FOR ERECTION OF CONTROL CENTER FOR COORDINATION AND TRAINING PURPOSES.

Expenditures may be made from the $2,000,000.00 item appropriated by chapter 3, Laws of 1951 (Second Ex. Sess.) p. 17, to carry out the provisions of the Washington Civil Defense Act of 1951 for the purpose of erecting a frame building on State Patrol or State Highway Department land, such structure being necessary as a civil defense control center and the Department of Civil Defense reserving the right of removal.

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                                                              September 19, 1952

Admiral D. E. Barbey
Director of Civil Defense
Legislative Building
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 406

 Dear Sir:

            Your letter of September 9, 1952, is in part as follows:

             "The State Department of Civil Defense is planning to establish a Civil Defense Control Center from which Civil Defense operations in an emergency and during training exercises will be coordinated throughout the State under the direction of the State Director of Civil Defense and his staff.

             "* * *

            "It is requested that you render an opinion as to whether the cost of this Control Center building may be paid from the $2,000,000.00 appropriation made by the last Legislature to carry out the provisions of Senate Bill No. 244 (Washington Civil Defense Act of 1951).  An early reply will be appreciated."

              [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            You have orally advised us that the Department of Civil Defense will retain the right to remove the proposed structure at such time as it is no longer required for civil defense purposes.

             It is our conclusion that expenditures may be made from the $2,000,000.00 item appropriated by chapter 3, Laws of 1951 (Second Ex. Sess.) p. 17, to carry out the provisions of the Washington Civil Defense Act of 1951 for the purpose of erecting a frame building on State Patrol or State Highway Department land, such structure being necessary as a Civil Defense Control Center and the Department of Civil Defense reserving the right of removal.

                                                                      ANALYSIS

             The legislature designated the purpose of the item of $2,000,000.00 included in the appropriation bill for the Department of Civil Defense as being "To carry out provisions of chapter 178, Laws of 1951," (the Washington Civil Defense Act of 1951).  Under the broad terms of this authorization, the Department of Civil Defense is given considerable latitude in making expenditures which are reasonably related to the general civil defense purposes.

             Under section 4 (2) of the Civil Defense Act the director is expressly authorized to "make such expenditures within the appropriation therefor, or from other funds made available to him for purposes of civil defense,as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this act."

             Subdivision (4) of Section 4 of the Civil Defense Act imposes upon the Director of Civil Defense the express duty to "coordinate the activities of all organizations for civil defense within the state.  * * *"

             Section 6, subdivision (3) (c) of the Civil Defense Act authorizes and empowers the Governor, through the director, " * * * to take all other preparatory steps * * * to insure the furnishing of adequately trained and equipped forces of civil defense personnel in time of need; * * * "

             As we understand your inquiry the proposed control center requires special consideration as to location and other factors in order to be effective for training and coordination purposes.

             From a consideration of the Civil Defense Act as a whole, it is our opinion that the proposed expenditure from the $2,000,000.00 item of the appropriation made by the legislature to carry out the provisions of the Civil Defense Act, for the  [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] purpose of erecting a frame building to be used as a control center for training and coordination purposes, is authorized where the Department of Civil Defense retains the right to remove such structure at such time as it is no longer required for civil defense purposes.

 Very truly yours,
SMITH TROY
Attorney General

FRED L. HARLOCKER
Assistant Attorney General

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