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December 2, 1970
Honorable C. J. Rabideau
P.O. Box 951
Pasco, Washington 99301
Cite as: AGLO 1970 No. 152
Attention: !ttMr. George E. Heidlebaugh
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
This is written in response to your recent letter informing us that your county commissioners have asked for your advice on the following question:
"'Is there any way for an area included in a Public Hospital District under RCW 70.44 to disassociate itself from said District?'"
Our examination of the statutes in chapter 70.44 RCW relating to public hospital districts reveals that while provisions are made therein for the consolidation of districts, and for the annexation of territory to a hospital district, these statutes contain no provision for the withdrawal of territory from an existing hospital district.
Accordingly, it would appear that the only manner in which an area included within a public hospital district might cease to be a part of such a district would be through dissolution proceedings under chapter 53.48 RCW. This RCW chapter codifies the provisions of chapter 87, Laws of 1941, and defines the term "district" in broad enough terms to include a public hospital district. See, RCW 53.48.010 (1) which states that the term "district"
". . . shall include all municipal corporations having a governing body, other than cities, towns, counties, and townships, such as port, school, independent highway, water, fire protection, and all other districts of similar organization, but shall not include local improvement districts, diking, drainage and irrigation districts, nor public utility districts."
[[Orig. Op. Page 2]]
Thereafter, of course, following the dissolution of the existing public hospital district, a new district could be formed encompassing a lesser territory than was encompassed by the previous hospital district ‑ thus, in effect, removing the area to which your question refers from the boundaries of the public hospital district in which it is now located. See, RCW 70.44.030 with respect to the creation of any public hospital district encompassing less than the area of an entire county, together with our recent opinion, dated September 9, 1970, to the Kittitas county prosecuting attorney (copy enclosed) with regard to this statutory procedure.
It is hoped that the foregoing will be of some assistance to you.
Very truly yours,
FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Philip H. Austin
Assistant Attorney General