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AGO 1953 No. 69 - June 19, 1953
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

COUNTIES ‑- AUTHORITY TO ACCEPT GRANTS PARKS ‑- OPERATED BY COUNTY THROUGH NON-PROFIT [[NONPROFIT]]CORPORATION

A county may accept a dedication under section 4 of the Columbia Basin Project Act of lands to be used for park purposes under the control and management of a non-profit [[nonprofit]]corporation.

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                                                                   June 19, 1953

Honorable Roger L. Olson
Prosecuting Attorney
Franklin County
Pasco, Washington                                                                                                                Cite as:  AGO 53-55 No. 69

Dear Sir:

            On receipt of your letter of May 5, 1953, we wrote to counsel for the Bureau of Reclamation, and refer you to the reply of Mr. Paul Lemargie dated May 13, 1953, a copy of which went to you.  We state your question as follows:

            May the County of Franklin accept a dedication under section 4 of the Columbia Basin Project Act of lands to be used for park purposes under the control and management of a non-profit [[nonprofit]]corporation?

            You are advised that Franklin County may accept a dedication under section 4 of the Columbia Basin Project Act of lands to be used for park purposes under the control and management of a non-profit [[nonprofit]]corporation.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            The question is not one of the construction to be given RCW 36.68.010 and RCW 67.20.010 (seeState ex rel. King County v. Superior Court, 33 Wn. (2d) 76, 204 P. (2d) 514), but rather involves the authority of the county to receive the property in trust.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            In section 28.25 McQuillin on Municipal Corporations (3rd Edition) Vol. 10, page 51, the rule is stated as to conveyances from an individual or private corporation:

            "In the absence of restriction in the controlling law, according to the great weight of judicial decisions, it is competent for a municipal corporation to receive property in trust, under the grant or will of an individual or private corporation, and to administer such trust; however, only 'for public purposes, germane to its object.'"

            A much more liberal construction is given by the courts to grants from public bodies, and where, as here, property is to be devoted to a public use, a county may devote the property to that use through the instrumentality of a private person or corporation.  SeePaso Robles War Memorial Hospital District v. Negley, 29 Cal. (2d) 203, 173 P. (2d) 813, 815, and cases there cited.

            You are therefore advised that Franklin County may accept the grant.

Very truly yours,

DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General

E. P. DONNELLY
Assistant Attorney General

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