Chapter 53.47 RCW

DISSOLUTION OF INACTIVE PORT DISTRICTS

Sections

53.47.010Purpose.
53.47.020Port district deemed inactive, when.
53.47.030Petition for dissolutionFilingContents.
53.47.040Hearing on petitionNotice, publicationCreditor claims, determinationTerms and conditions of court order if district to be dissolved.
53.47.050Effect of final order of dissolution.
53.47.900Chapter cumulative and nonexclusive.

NOTES:

Dissolution of inactive special purpose districts: Chapter 36.96 RCW.


Purpose.

This chapter shall provide an additional method by which inactive port districts may be dissolved.



Port district deemed inactive, when.

A port district shall be deemed inactive if, at the time of the filing of the petition for dissolution with the clerk of the superior court of the county in which such port district is situated, such port has failed to comply with subdivision (1), (2), or (3) of this section.
(1) The port district has failed to file its budget with the board of county commissioners or, in the case of home rule charters, the appropriate governing body for the two fiscal years immediately preceding the date of filing such petition, and the port district, having been in existence for two years or more, has failed to adopt its comprehensive plan of harbor improvement and/or industrial development as provided by statute, and does not presently own or has not leased within two years prior to the filing of such petition, real property for use for port purposes.
(2) The port district does not presently own or has not leased or owned real property for use for port purposes within the four calendar years prior to the filing of such petition.
(3) The port district has not filed its budget with the board of county commissioners or, in the case of home rule charters, the appropriate governing body for the two fiscal years immediately preceding the filing of said petition has not adopted its comprehensive plan of harbor improvement and/or industrial development as provided by statute, and has not met with a legal quorum at least twice in the last two calendar years prior to the filing of such petition.

NOTES:

Harbor improvement plan: RCW 53.20.010.



Petition for dissolutionFilingContents.

The county prosecutor of the county in which such port district is located acting upon his or her own motion shall file such petition for dissolution with the clerk of the superior court of the county in which such inactive port district is located. Such petition shall:
(1) Describe with certainty the port district which is declared to be inactive and which is sought to be dissolved;
(2) Allege with particularity that the port district sought to be dissolved is inactive within the purview of any of the several particulars set forth in RCW 53.47.020; and
(3) Request that the court find the port district inactive and declare it dissolved upon such terms and conditions as the court may impose and declare.



Hearing on petitionNotice, publicationCreditor claims, determinationTerms and conditions of court order if district to be dissolved.

The superior court, upon the filing of such petition, shall set such petition for hearing not less than one hundred twenty days and not more than one hundred eighty days after the date of filing said petition. Further, the court shall order the clerk of said court to give notice of the time and place fixed for the hearing by publication of notice in a newspaper of general circulation within such district, such publication to be once each week for three consecutive weeks, the date of first publication to be not less than thirty nor more than seventy days prior to the date fixed for the hearing upon such petition. Said notice shall further provide that all creditors of said district, including holders of revenue or general obligation bonds issued by said district, if any, shall present their claims to the clerk of said court within ninety days from the date of first publication of said notice, and that upon failure to do so all such claims will be forever barred. The clerk shall also mail a copy by ordinary mail of such notice to all creditors of said district, including holders of revenue or general obligation bonds issued by said district, if any, such mailing to be mailed not later than thirty days after the hearing date has been set. No other or further notices shall be required at any stage of the proceedings for dissolution of an inactive port district pursuant to this chapter.
The clerk, ten days prior to the date set for the hearing, shall deliver to the court the following:
(1) A list of the liabilities of the port district in detail with the names and addresses of creditors as then known; and
(2) A list of the assets of the port district in detail as then known.
The court upon hearing the petition shall fix and determine all such claims subject to proof being properly filed as provided in this section; shall fix and determine the financial condition of the district as to its assets and liabilities, and if it finds the port district to be inactive in respect of any standard of inactivity set forth by this chapter, shall order the port district to be dissolved upon the following terms and conditions:
(1) If there be no outstanding debts, or if the debts be less than the existing assets, the court shall appoint the auditor of the county in which the port district is located to be trustee of the port's assets and shall empower such person to wind up and liquidate the affairs of such district in such manner as the court shall provide and to file his or her accounting with the court within ninety days from the date of his or her appointment. Upon the filing of such account, the court shall fix a date for hearing upon the same and upon approval thereof, if such accounting be the final accounting, shall enter its order approving the same and declaring the port district dissolved.
At the request of the trustee the county sheriff may sell, at public auction, all real and personal property of the port district. The county sheriff shall cause a notice of such sale fixing the time and place thereof which shall be at a suitable place, which will be noted in the advertisement for sale. Such notice shall contain a description of the property to be sold and shall be signed by the sheriff or his or her deputy. Such notice shall be published at least once in an official newspaper in said county at least ten days prior to the date fixed for said sale. The sheriff or his or her deputy shall conduct said sale and sell the property described in the notice at public auction to the highest and best bidder for cash, and upon payment of the amount of such bid shall deliver the said property to such bidder. The moneys arising from such sale shall be turned over to the county auditor acting as trustee: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That the sheriff shall first deduct the costs and expenses of the sale from the moneys and shall apply such moneys to pay said costs and expenses.
The court order shall provide that the assets remaining in the hands of the trustee shall be transferred to any school district, districts, or portions of districts, lying within the dissolved port district boundaries. The transfer of assets shall be prorated to the districts based on the assessed valuation of said districts.
(2) If the debts exceed the assets of the port district, then the court shall appoint the auditor of the county in which a port district is located to be trustee of the port's assets for the purpose of conserving the same and of paying liability of the port district as funds become available therefor. The trustee shall be empowered to generally manage, wind up, and liquidate the affairs of such district in such manner as the court shall provide and to file his or her accounting with the court within ninety days from the date of his or her appointment and as often thereafter as the court shall provide. The board of county commissioners, acting as pro tempore port district commissioners under the authority of RCW 53.36.020 shall levy an annual tax not exceeding forty-five cents per thousand dollars of assessed value or such lesser amount as may previously have been voted by the taxpayers within said district, together with an amount deemed necessary for payment of the costs and expenses attendant upon the dissolution of said district, upon all the taxable property within said district, the amount of such levy to be determined from time to time by the court. When, as shown by the final accounting of the trustee, all of the indebtedness of the district shall have been satisfied, the cost and expense of the proceeding paid or provided for, and the affairs of the district wound up, the court shall declare the district dissolved: PROVIDED, That if the indebtedness be composed in whole or in part of bonded debt for which a regular program of retirement has been provided, then the board of county commissioners shall be directed by the court to continue to make such annual levies as are required for the purpose of debt service upon said bonded debt.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective dates and termination datesConstruction1973 1st ex.s. c 195: See notes following RCW 84.52.043.



Effect of final order of dissolution.

Upon the entry of the final order of dissolution declaring the port district dissolved all offices of the port district shall be deemed abolished, and no other or further levy shall be certified by the county commissioners except pursuant to the directive of the court as hereinabove provided.



Chapter cumulative and nonexclusive.

The provisions of this chapter shall be cumulative and nonexclusive and shall not affect any other remedy.