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AGO 1957 No. 132 - November 18, 1957
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John J. O'Connell | 1957-1968 | Attorney General of Washington

HOSPITALS ‑- PUBLIC HOSPITAL DISTRICT'S POWER TO INVEST FUNDS --DISTRICTS ‑- INVESTMENT OF FUNDS

Bond redemption funds of a public hospital district may not be invested.

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                                                               November 18, 1957

Honorable Walter J. Deierlein, Jr.
Prosecuting Attorney
Skagit County
Mount Vernon, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 57-58 No. 132


Dear Sir:

            In your letter of October 11, 1957, previously acknowledged, you ask the following question:

            "May the County Treasurer legally invest money of the special fund established to redeem the General Obligation Bonds of a Public Hospital District in government securities when requested to do so by the directors of the Public Hospital district?"

            We answer your question in the negative.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            As a municipal corporation a public hospital district has only the powers conferred upon it by statute.  State ex rel. Clausen v. Burr, 65 Wash. 524; State ex rel. Cornell v. Smith, 149 Wash. 173; City of Aberdeen v. National Surety Co., 151 Wash. 55.

            An examination of chapter 70.44 RCW, which authorizes such hospital districts, discloses neither express nor implied authority for the investment of their bond redemption funds.  The only statutory provision relative to the handling and  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] disposition of district funds is found in RCW 70.44.170, which provides as follows:

            "The treasurer of the county in which a district is situated shall be the treasurer of the district, and all funds of the district shall be paid to him as such treasurer and shall be disbursed by him on warrants drawn and signed by an auditor appointed by the commission, upon order of or vouchers approved by the commission.

            "The treasurer shall create a fund for the district, to be known as public hospital district fund, into which shall be paid all money received by him from the collection of taxes in behalf of the district, and he shall maintain such other special funds as created by the commission, into which shall be placed such moneys as the commission may by resolution direct.  All district funds shall be deposited with the county depositaries under the same restrictions, contracts, and security as are provided for county depositaries, and all interest collected thereon shall belong to the district."

            It is therefore our conclusion that a county treasurer may not invest moneys of the special fund established to redeem the general obligation bonds of a public hospital district in government securities.

            We trust that the foregoing satisfactorily answers your inquiry.

Very truly yours,

JOHN J. O'CONNELL
Attorney General


FRANKLIN K. THORP
Assistant Attorney General

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