Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1953 No. 58 - May 28 1953
Attorney General Don Eastvold


Hospital district may purchase building off the hospital premises, for the use of the superintendent in performance of his statutory powers and duties, if necessary: but in no case for the residence of the superintendent.

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                                                                   May 28, 1953

Honorable Maloy Sensney
Prosecuting Attorney
Benton County
Fisk Building
Prosser, Washington                                                                                                                Cite as:  AGO 53-55 No. 58

Dear Sir:

            We have received your request of May 25, 1953, for the opinion of this office on the following question:  Can the Prosser Hospital District purchase a house situated off the hospital property for the use of the hospital administrator?

            Our conclusion may be stated in this way:  The hospital district may purchase such a building for the use of the administrator if it is necessary for the business administration of the hospital, and not otherwise.


            We assume that by the term "administrator" you refer to the superintendent described in RCW 70.44.070.  The powers and duties of the superintendent are set out in RCW 70.44.080 and 70.44.090.  He has charge of administration of the affairs of the hospital, and performs advisory and liaison functions in relation to the commissioners, being one of the persons through whom the basic purpose of RCW 70.44.010 is carried out.  If no space or facilities for the performance of his functions are available in buildings presently owned or leased by the district, the commissioners may proceed under RCW 70.44.060 (2) to have them  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] provided.  That section empowers the district to purchase buildings, as does RCW 70.44.060 (4).  We assume that no financial questions are raised by the proposed purchase.

            It should be noted that such a purchase would not, in our opinion, be authorized if the purpose were to provide residential facilities for the superintendent.  His powers and duties as enumerated in the statute do not require his residence in or near the hospital.  We do not believe the purchase of a residence for the superintendent could reasonably be implied as a necessary incident to the powers of a hospital district.  Such a district, as a municipal corporation, can exercise only those powers expressly granted, or necessarily and fairly implied from the express powers, or essential to the declared purpose of the district.

            We conclude that a hospital district may purchase a building situated off hospital property for the use of the superintendent in performance of his statutory powers and duties only, if necessary.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General