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AGO 1952 No. 385 - August 26, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

MOTOR VEHICLE FUNDS MAY NOT BE USED FOR PRIVATELY OWNED FERRIES --  COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- AUTHORITY TO EXPEND MOTOR VEHICLE FUNDS --  FERRIES ‑- PRIVATELY OWNED NOT ENTITLED TO MOTOR VEHICLE FUNDS

Motor Vehicle funds may not be used by the county for the purpose of erecting or maintaining ferry slips contemplated to be leased to a privately owned and operated ferry company.

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                                                                 August 26, 1952

Honorable Alden B. Whelan
Prosecuting Attorney
Island County
Coupeville, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 385

Dear Sir:

            We have your letter of August 4th asking a question regarding the use of motor vehicle funds, which we answer as follows:

            Motor vehicle funds may not be used by the county for the purpose of either erecting or maintaining ferry slips contemplated to be leased to a privately owned and operated ferry company.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Section 5, chapter 82, Laws of 1943, would authorize the expenditure of motor vehicle funds for ferry slips where a county owns ferries or operates the same through a lessee with a "measure of control" for they would then be a reasonably necessary adjunct to the ferry system (Norton v. Anderson, 164 Wash. 55, 2 P. (2d) 266), a part of the county road system(State ex rel. King County v. Murrow, 199 Wash. 685, 93 P. (2d) 304),and therefore essential to the county road system.  (The underlined matter omitted by the codifier in RCW 36.82.070)

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            The use of motor vehicle funds, however, for a necessary adjunct to a privately owned ferry system when there is no county owned or operated ferry is prohibited by the rule ofState ex rel. Wash. Nav. Co. v. Pierce County, 184 Wash. 414, 51 P. (2d) 407.  Attorney General's letter of August 11, 1937, to the Honorable Harry H. Johnson, Prosecuting Attorney, Pierce County.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

E. P. DONNELLY
Assistant Attorney General

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