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June 21, 1971
Honorable C. J. Rabideau
P.O. Box 951
Pasco, Washington 99301
Attention: !ttMr. George E. Heidlebaugh
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
Cite as: AGLO 1971 No. 137 (not official)
This is written in response to your recent letter requesting our opinion regarding the proper statutory procedure to be followed by Pasco School District No. 1 in selling "an old unused school building and site" to the city of Pasco. You have stated that the property in question may have an appraised value exceeding $35,000, and have asked:
"In view of Davis v. King County, 77 Wn.2d 930 does the school district follow R.C.W. [[RCW]]39.33.010 or 28A.58.045 or both?"
The first of these two statutes, RCW 39.33.010 reads as follows:
"Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the state or any municipality or any political subdivision thereof, may sell, transfer, exchange, lease or otherwise dispose of any property, real or personal, or property rights, including but not limited to the title to real property, to the state or any municipality or any political subdivision thereof on such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon by the proper authorities of the state and/or the subdivisions concerned: Provided, That such property is determined by decree of the superior court in the county where such property is located, after publication of notice of hearing is given as fixed and directed by such court, to be either necessary, or surplus or excess to the future foreseeable needs of the state or of such municipality or any political subdivision thereof concerned, which requests authority to transfer such property."
[[Orig. Op. Page 2]]
RCW 28A. 58.045, on the other hand, provides that:
"The board of directors of any school district of this state may:
"(1) Sell for cash, at public or private sale, and convey by deed all interest of the district in or to any of the real property of the district which is no longer required for school purposes if the value thereof is thirty-five thousand dollars or less; and
"(2) Purchase real property for the purpose of locating thereon and affixing thereto any house or houses and appurtenant buildings removed from school sites owned by the district and sell for cash, at public or private sale, and convey by deed all interest of the district in or to such acquired and improved real property if the value of any single parcel thereof is thirty-five thousand dollars or less; and is at least equal in funds received to ninety percent of the relocated value thereof: Provided, however, That prior to selling any of such real property of the district the board of directors shall appoint three licensed real estate brokers who shall appraise the real property to be sold, and such real property shall not be sold for less than ninety percent of the appraisal value thereof.
"If the value of any such parcel of real property is found by the board of directors to be greater than thirty-five thousand dollars, the question of the sale thereof shall be submitted to a vote of the voters of the district, either at a general or special election called for that purpose. If a majority of the votes cast thereat favor the sale of such real property the board may make the sale. The sale must be made at public auction for cash and good title shall be conveyed by deed of the school district, executed by the president or the vice president and the secretary of the board."
Notably, Davis v. King County, supra, did not [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] involve an intergovernmental sale by a school district at all; rather, it involved the governing procedures with respect to a sale of property by King county to the city of Houghton. Relying upon RCW 36.34.130,1/ the county attempted to consummate the sale without a prior court order as required by RCW 39.33.010, supra; however, the supreme court held that compliance with the proviso contained in this statute was mandatory in the case of any intergovernmental transfer of property "notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary" thereby, in affect, holding that the earlier provisions of RCW 36.34.130 had been impliedly amended to this extent.
Insofar as an intergovernmental disposition of school district property is concerned, we would refer you to our opinion dated September 16, 1968, to the prosecuting attorney of Chelan county, copy enclosed, wherein we expressed "full agreement" with the prosecuting attorney's conclusion that RCW 39.33.010 takes precedence over RCW 28A.58.045, supra, ". . . where the sale of school district property is to be made to the state of Washington or some municipality or political subdivision thereof . . ." In other words, we expressed agreement with the proposition that if the grantee is the state or a municpality or political subdivision thereof, the sale may be made without a vote of the people, as provided for in RCW 28A.58.045, even though the value of the property is in excess of $35,000.
Based upon this previous opinion, together with Davis v. Seattle, supra, to the extent that its reasoning is here applicable, our direct answer to your question is that the proper statutory procedure to be followed in connection with the proposed sale of "an old unused school building and site" by Pasco School District No. 1 to the city of Pasco is that procedure set forth in RCW 39.33.010, supra ‑ rather than the procedure provided for in RCW [[Orig. Op. Page 4]] 28A.58.045, supra.
We trust that the foregoing will be of assistance to you.
Very truly yours,
FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Philip H. Austin
Deputy Attorney General
*** FOOTNOTES ***
1/RCW 36.34.130 provides:
"The board of county commissioners may dispose of county property to another governmental agency and may acquire property for the county from another governmental agency by means of private negotiation upon such terms as may be agreed upon and for such consideration as may be deemed by the board of county commissioners to be adequate."