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AGO 1951 No. 113 - August 31, 1951
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

COUNTIES ‑- COMMISSIONERS ‑- POWERS ‑- AERIAL SURVEY

Although there is no expressed statutory authority authorizing the county commissioners to expend money for an aerial survey, it may be implied that such an expenditure would be proper.

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                                                                 August 31, 1951

Honorable Don G. Abel
Prosecuting Attorney
Grays Harbor County
Aberdeen, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 113

Dear Sir:

            This is to acknowledge your letter of August 28, 1951, in which you asked:

            "Can the Board of County Commissioners budget for, contract for, receive and manage an aerial survey of Grays Harbor County; said aerial survey to be used primarily by the County Assessor in fixing land valuations; but to be used also by the County Commissioners in determining the value of County Tax Title lands and for other purposes."

            Our conclusion may be stated as follows:

            Although there is no express statutory authority authorizing the county commissioners to expend money for an aerial survey, it may be implied that such an expenditure would be proper.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Whether the county commissioners have power to make an expenditure for an aerial survey depends upon the extent of their implied powers.

            The statutes relating to the powers of county commissioners do not expressly authorize the commissioners to make such an expenditure, nor do the statutes prohibit this type of an expenditure.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            Rem. Supp. 1947, section 4056, concerning the general powers of the county commissioners, provides in part:

            "* * *

            "(6) * * * have the care of the county property and the management of the county funds * * *"

            Rem. Rev. Stat., section 11146, provides in part as follows:

            "The county commissioners of each county shall furnish the assessor with a map of the county, showing the boundaries of each taxing and road district therein named or numbered.  * * *"

            We feel that an expenditure by the county commissioners for an aerial survey would be justified under either of the above two sections.

            It appears to us quite plausible that an aerial survey would be most helpful to the commissioners in the care and management of county property.

            Furthermore, in connection with section 11146, quoted above, we feel that an aerial survey, which amounts to a photograph of the county area, is in fact a map, and thus, within the language of this section.

            Accordingly, you are advised, that in our opinion, the county commissioners would be authorized to expend money for an aerial survey.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

ROBERT L. SIMPSON
Assistant Attorney General

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