Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1952 No. 254 - Mar 7 1952
Attorney General Smith Troy


County commissioners may not sell crushed rock to private individuals or corporations.

                                                                  - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                                                   March 7, 1952

Honorable W. R. Cole
Prosecuting Attorney
Kittitas County
Ellensburg, Washington                                                                                                 Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 254

Dear Sir:

            We wish to acknowledge receipt of your letter of February 26 wherein you give the following set of facts:

            "The county has a gravel crusher which is now crushing maintenance gravel.  The county has access to an unlimited supply of maintenance gravel rock.  The county is the only manufacturer of maintenance gravel in Kittitas County.  The county needs oil rock for surfacing of roads, but has no supply of same and can purchase it from no one except one individual in this county.  The individual owning the oil rock needs maintenance gravel and the county needs this individual's oil rock.  Is it possible for the individual to bid to supply the county oil rock upon any consideration other than money?  The individual desires maintenance gravel and is willing to pay the standard market value of said maintenance gravel.  The county by the same token  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] needs the oil rock and is willing to pay the reasonable market value of said oil rock.  Both the county and the individual, however, wish to trade oil rock for maintenance gravel."

            You state that it is your opinion that the county could not sell or trade the maintenance gravel to any private individual, and you request our opinion upon this subject.

            We wish to state that we concur in your opinion, and we enclose an Attorney General's opinion rendered on this subject on August 17, 1940, and addressed to Honorable Edgar H. Canfield, Prosecuting Attorney, Klickitat County.  This opinion held that county commissioners may not sell crushed rock to private individuals or corporations.


            Section 44, chapter 187, Laws of 1937, § 6450-44 Rem. Rev. Stat. Supp., as codified in RCW 36.82.100, provides that counties may purchase and operate rock crushing and other road building equipment and that any crushed rock, gravel or other material not directly used or needed by the county on county roads may be sold at actual cost of production by the county commissioners to the state or any other county, city, town or other political subdivision, for use, construction, etc., of any state, county, city, town or other proper highway, road or state purpose.

            We have examined the statute above referred to and there has been no substantial change in this statute up to the present time, and we herewith affirm the Attorney General's opinion of August 17, 1940.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General