Chapter 86.13 RCW



86.13.010Boundary line riversContract to control.
86.13.020Expenditure of fundsJoint action generally.
86.13.030Tax levy in each countyIntercounty river improvement fund.
86.13.040Eminent domainProcedureAcquisition by purchase authorized.
86.13.050Joint county meetingProcedure.
86.13.060Special commissionerPowers and dutiesCompensation.
86.13.070Chapter not exclusive.
86.13.080Liability as between counties.
86.13.090Issuance of warrants.
86.13.100Lease or disposal of propertyDisposition of proceeds.
86.13.110State's title to abandoned channels granted to counties.
86.13.120Liability of county or counties to others.

Boundary line riversContract to control.

Wherever and whenever a river is or shall be the boundary line or part of the boundary line between two counties, or it, or its tributaries or outlet or part thereof, flows through parts of two counties, and the waters thereof have in the past been the cause of damage, by inundation or otherwise, to the roads, bridges or other public property situate in or to other public interests of both such counties, or the flow of such waters shall have alternated between the said counties so at one time or times such waters shall have caused damage to one county and at another time or times to the other county, and it shall be deemed by the boards of county commissioners of both counties to be for the public interests of their respective counties that the flow of such waters be definitely confined to a particular channel, situate in whole or in part in either county, in a manner calculated to prevent such alternation or to prevent or lessen damage in the future, it shall be lawful for the two counties, and their boards of county commissioners are hereby empowered, pursuant to resolution, to enter into a contract in writing in the names of the respective counties for the purpose of settling all disputes in relation to any such situation, and providing ways and means for the control and disposition of such waters. Any such contract may provide:
(1) That it shall be operative in perpetuity, or only for a term of years or other measure of time to be specified therein.
(2) The amount of money to be expended by each county during each year of the life of said contract, or such other method of determining the amount of expenditure or dividing the financial burden as may be agreed upon.
(3) That an annual tax shall be levied, at the same time and in the same manner as other county taxes are levied, each year during the life of the contract, by the county commissioners of each county. The annual tax herein provided for need not be levied at the same rate for each county, but shall be at such rate in each county as will produce annually the amount of money for each county as is required for the fulfillment of the contract on its part: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That in no event shall any such tax levy by either county exceed twenty-five cents per thousand dollars of assessed value for any one year.
(4) That the general scheme for the improvement of such river shall be as stated in such contract, but by consent of the contracting parties, pursuant to resolution of each board of county commissioners, such scheme may be modified from time to time during the life of the contract. The contract may but need not provide the details of such scheme, but must designate the general purpose to be accomplished. So far as details are not specified in the contract, same shall be for future determination by joint action of the two boards of county commissioners. Any such contract may be subsequently modified or abrogated by mutual consent evidenced by separate resolution of both boards of county commissioners.
[ 1973 1st ex.s. c 195 § 130; 1913 c 54 § 1; RRS § 9651. Formerly RCW 86.12.040.]


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

Expenditure of fundsJoint action generally.

When such a contract shall have been entered into the prosecution of the work of improvement and the expenditure of funds thereof shall be determined upon, controlled and provided for by joint action of the boards of county commissioners of the two counties. So acting jointly, they shall have power to employ subordinates, purchase material or equipment in open market or by contract, let contracts for work, or cause work to be done by day labor, and to reject any and all bids received for work or material. All vouchers, pay rolls, reports, contracts and bonds on contracts shall be in duplicate, one copy to be filed in the office of the county auditor of each county: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That the expenditure of said funds must be made in such manner so that the fund from each county is drawn on or expended alternately and such alternate expenditure shall be in proportion to the amount contributed by each county as nearly as may be practicable.
[ 1913 c 54 § 2; RRS § 9652. Formerly RCW 86.12.050 and 86.12.060, part.]

Tax levy in each countyIntercounty river improvement fund.

When such a contract shall have been entered into it shall be the duty of each of the boards of county commissioners to make for their respective counties, each year, a tax levy at a rate sufficient to meet the requirements of the contract to be performed by the county, or sufficient to provide such lesser amount as the boards of county commissioners shall agree upon for such year, to be evidenced by separate resolution of each board, and when such levy shall be made the same shall be extended upon the tax rolls of the county levying the same as other taxes shall be extended, and shall be collected in the same manner and shall be a lien upon the property as in the case of other taxes. The fund realized in each county by such tax levy shall go into a separate fund in the treasury of the county collecting the same, to be designated intercounty river improvement fund, and the entire fund so collected in the two counties shall be devoted to and be disbursed for the purposes specified in such contract and as in this chapter provided, and for no other purpose, but without regard to the particular county in which the work is performed, material required or expenditure made, it being the intent that the entire fund realized in the two counties shall be devoted to the one common purpose as if the two counties were one county and the two funds one fund. The fund in each county shall be disbursed by the county treasurer of such county upon warrants signed by the county auditor of that county. Such warrants shall be issued by order of the board of county commissioners of such county, or a majority thereof. Each county auditor shall, whenever requested by the county auditor of the other county, furnish the county auditor of the other county a statement of payments into and warrants drawn upon the fund of his or her county from time to time, and in addition thereto, each county auditor shall on the first Monday of January, April, July and October each year during the life of the contract furnish the other a complete statement thereof. Obligations incurred in the prosecution of such improvement and warrants issued shall be payable only out of said special funds, and no general obligation against or debt of either county shall be created thereby or by any contract entered into by virtue of this chapter, but it is not the intent of this chapter to deny to either county the right to have in the courts any proper proceeding to compel compliance with such contract on the part of the other county.
[ 2013 c 23 § 471; 1913 c 54 § 3; RRS § 9653. Formerly RCW 86.12.100.]


Limitation on levies: State Constitution Art. 7 § 2 (Amendments 55 and 59); chapter 84.52 RCW.

Eminent domainProcedureAcquisition by purchase authorized.

When such a contract shall have been entered into the power of eminent domain is hereby vested in each of such counties, to acquire any lands necessary to straighten, widen, deepen, dike or otherwise improve any such river, its tributaries or outlet or to strengthen the banks thereof, or to acquire any land adjacent to such river, or its tributaries, or the right to cut and remove timber upon the same for the purpose of preventing or lessening the falling of timber or brush into the waters of such river or tributaries, or to acquire any rock quarry, gravel deposit or timber for material for the prosecution of such improvement, together with the necessary rights-of-way for the same, or to acquire any dam site or other property necessary for flood control purposes. Any such land, property or rights may be acquired by purchase instead of by condemnation proceedings. Said right of eminent domain shall extend to lands or other property owned by the state or any municipality thereof. The title to any such lands, property or rights so acquired shall vest in the county in which situate for the benefit of such enterprise and said fund, but when said contract shall have terminated by lapse of time or for any other reason, then such title shall be held by such county independent of any claims whatsoever of the other county, but any material, equipment or other chattel property on hand shall be converted into money and the money divided between the two counties in the ratio of their respective contributions to the fund. The exercise of such rights of eminent domain or purchase shall rest in the joint control of the two boards of county commissioners. Such eminent domain proceedings shall be in the name of and had in the county where the property to be acquired is situate: PROVIDED, If either county shall fail or refuse to institute and prosecute any condemnation proceedings when directed so to do by any legal meeting provided for in RCW 86.13.050, such proceeding may be instituted and prosecuted by and in the name of the other county. The proceedings may conform to the provisions of *sections 921 to 926, inclusive, of Remington & Ballinger's Annotated Codes and Statutes of Washington, or to any general law now or hereafter enacted governing eminent domain proceedings by counties. The awards in and costs of such proceedings shall be payable out of such funds. The purposes in this act specified are hereby declared to be county purposes of each and both of such counties.
[ 1937 c 117 § 1; 1913 c 54 § 4; RRS § 9654. Formerly RCW 86.12.060, part, and 86.12.070.]


*Reviser's note: "Sections 921 to 926, inclusive, of Remington & Ballinger's Annotated Codes and Statutes" (except for section 923) are codified as RCW 8.20.010 through 8.20.080. Section 923 was repealed by 1935 c 115 § 1 but compare the first paragraph of RCW 8.28.010 relating to the same subject matter as the repealed section.

Joint county meetingProcedure.

When such a contract shall have been entered into and occasion shall arise for the joint action of the two boards of county commissioners whether such joint action is provided for in this chapter or otherwise desired upon any matter having relation to such contract or the prosecution of such improvement, such joint action may be secured by a notice calling a joint meeting signed by two county commissioners, designating the time and place in either county of such meeting, served by one of the two county auditors upon the remaining county commissioners at least seven days (exclusive of the date of service or mailing) prior to the time so designated. If the notice is signed by two county commissioners of the same county the place of meeting shall be at some place in the other county designated in the notice. Such service may be personal or by mail addressed to the member in care of the county auditor of his or her county. The six county commissioners may constitute a legal meeting without notice by being present together for that purpose. The auditor's certificate of such personal service or mailing, attached to a copy of the notice, shall be made a part of the records of the meeting and be competent proof of the fact. Except in the case hereinafter provided for, the presence of four of the county commissioners shall be necessary to constitute a legal meeting. Each meeting shall be presided over by one of those present selected by vote. The county auditor of the county wherein the meeting is held shall be secretary of the meeting, and shall make duplicate record of its proceedings, one of which, with his or her certificate thereon, shall be forwarded to the county auditor of the other county, and such record shall be a part of the record of the board of county commissioners of each county. A majority vote of those present at any legal meeting shall be determinative upon any question properly considered at the meeting, and shall be binding upon each county as if enacted or adopted by its own board of county commissioners separately, but no joint meeting whatsoever shall in any manner continue, extend, change, alter, modify, or abrogate the contract when made or any of the terms and conditions contained therein. Each county commissioner shall be paid out of said fund in his or her own county all disbursements made by him or her for traveling and other expenses incurred in attending any joint meeting or in any way connected with the prosecution of the improvement. Any legal meeting shall have power to adjourn to another time and place. An adjourned meeting shall have all the powers of the meeting of which it is an adjournment, but shall have no power after the end of the thirtieth day following the date of the original meeting of which it is an adjournment. If the three county commissioners of either county shall fail to attend any two meetings consecutively called, the notice for the next succeeding meeting may be also served upon the special commissioner hereinafter provided for, and if he or she and three county commissioners attend pursuant to such notice the four shall constitute a legal meeting, but if he or she does not so attend and three county commissioners do attend, the same shall constitute a legal meeting: PROVIDED, All notices calling a joint meeting shall specify distinctly and separately each question to be considered at said meeting; and it shall be unlawful to consider any question at such meeting or at any adjourned meeting thereof except those which have been distinctly and separately specified, except in cases where all six county commissioners are present or five county commissioners present are unanimous on the question, and in any action which may be taken on any question other than those specified in the notice shall be void and shall not be binding on either county, except in cases where all six county commissioners are present or the action was by unanimous vote of five county commissioners present at such meeting.
[ 2013 c 23 § 472; 1913 c 54 § 5; RRS § 9655. Formerly RCW 86.12.060, part, and 86.12.120 through 86.12.140.]

Special commissionerPowers and dutiesCompensation.

When such a contract shall have been entered into there shall be designated at the first legal joint meeting, or adjournment thereof, held in each calendar year a special commissioner to serve as such until the first joint meeting held in the ensuing year. If such designation shall not be made at any such first annual meeting, the United States engineer in charge of the district in which such improvement is located shall be such special commissioner until the next succeeding first annual meeting. If a special commissioner shall for any reason fail to serve as such officer, or be removed by unanimous vote of any legal meeting, a successor to him or her may be chosen at any subsequent legal joint meeting during his or her term. Such special commissioner shall have power to attend and vote at any joint meeting in the following cases and none other, to wit: (1) In cases specially so provided in RCW 86.13.050 hereof; (2) in any case where the vote of any such joint meeting shall stand equally divided upon any question arising under this chapter or such contract or in the prosecution of the work of improvement. The special commissioner shall have no voice or vote except upon questions on which the vote of the county commissioners is equally divided. The procedure in cases covered by the foregoing subdivision (2) of this section shall be substantially as follows: It shall be the duty of the secretary of the meeting at which the division shall occur, if the attendance of the special commissioner at that meeting is not secured, to forthwith transmit to the special commissioner written notice of the fact of disagreement and the question involved, and of the time and place to which the meeting shall have been adjourned or at which the question will recur. If there shall be no such adjournment of the meeting, or if the secretary shall not give such notice, any two commissioners may in the manner provided in RCW 86.13.050 call a joint meeting for the consideration of the question in dispute, and in such event either county auditor may give such notice to the special commissioner. No informality in the mode of securing the attendance of the special commissioner shall invalidate the proceedings of or any vote taken at any meeting which he or she shall attend and which he or she is empowered to attend by the provisions of this chapter. The special commissioner shall receive, to be paid equally out of the two funds, his or her traveling and other expenses incurred in attending meetings or otherwise in connection with the work of improvement, and such compensation for his or her services as shall be fixed by the joint meeting which shall have selected him or her, or failing to be so fixed, his or her compensation shall be ten dollars per day of actual service.
[ 2013 c 23 § 473; 1913 c 54 § 6; RRS § 9656. Formerly RCW 86.12.150 and 86.12.160.]

Chapter not exclusive.

Nothing in this chapter contained shall be construed to prevent any county which may be a party to such contract from further caring for any such river or the banks thereof, as authorized so to do by existing laws or by such laws as may be hereafter enacted, provided the rights of neither county, as fixed by contract, shall be impaired thereby.
[ 1913 c 54 § 7; RRS § 9657. Formerly RCW 86.12.190.]

Liability as between counties.

No legal claim of any kind or character whatsoever in favor of one county and against the other shall be based upon or created by the enactment hereof, except such as may arise when the contract herein provided for shall have been entered into. After such contract shall have been entered into, should any loss or damage be sustained by either county occasioned by the overflow of any such river, if caused by any act or omission to act of the other county, its officers or agents, or any other cause whatsoever, then such county so suffering or sustaining said loss shall not be entitled to recover therefor from the other county, nor shall any cause of action, legal or equitable be based thereon: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That if either county shall suffer loss or damage because of the failure or refusal of the other county to perform any such contract on its part to be performed, the injured county shall have a cause of action against the defaulting county to recover the same, but the limit of recovery for any loss or damage suffered in any one year shall not exceed the sum of ten thousand dollars, and any such recovery shall be limited to such special fund, and in no event be recoverable out of the general fund of such defaulting county. If any such loss or damage shall be liquidated in an amount by agreement or by judgment, the defaulting county shall increase its tax levy for said special fund for the ensuing year sufficiently to provide for such liquidated amount: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, That either county may have any proper action in the courts to compel the performance of the contract or any duty imposed thereby or by this chapter.
[ 1913 c 54 § 8; RRS § 9658. Formerly RCW 86.12.170.]

Issuance of warrants.

When such a contract shall have been entered into, it shall be lawful to issue warrants upon said fund though there be at the time of such issuance no money in the fund, but in such cases the aggregate of such warrants so issued in any year shall not exceed one-half the amount of the next annual tax levy required by such contract. Such warrants shall be stamped by the county treasurer when presented to him or her for payment, to bear interest at a certain rate thereafter until paid, such rate to be the then current rate as determined by the county auditor.
[ 2013 c 23 § 474; 1913 c 54 § 9; RRS § 9659. Formerly RCW 86.12.110.]

Lease or disposal of propertyDisposition of proceeds.

Whenever two counties of this state, acting under a contract made pursuant to RCW 86.13.010 through 86.13.090, shall make an improvement in connection with the course, channel, or flow of a river, shall acquire property by statute, purchase, gift, or otherwise, said counties, acting through their boards of county commissioners jointly shall have the power, and are hereby authorized to sell, transfer, trade, lease, or otherwise dispose of said property by public or private, negotiation or sale. The deeds to the property so granted, transferred, leased, or sold shall be executed by the chair of the meeting of the joint boards of county commissioners, and attested by the secretary of said joint meeting where the sale is authorized. The proceeds of the sale of said property shall be used by said counties for the carrying on, completion or maintenance of said improvement, as directed by the boards of county commissioners of said counties acting jointly.
[ 2013 c 23 § 475; 1915 c 103 § 1; RRS § 9660. Formerly RCW 86.12.080.]


Construction1915 c 103: "This act is not intended to modify, change, alter or amend chapter 54 of the Session Laws of 1913 [RCW 86.13.010 through 86.13.090]." [ 1915 c 103 § 2.]

State's title to abandoned channels granted to counties.

Whenever two counties of this state, acting under a contract made pursuant to RCW 86.13.010 through 86.13.090, shall make an improvement in connection with the course, channel or flow of a river, thereby causing it to abandon its existing channel, bed, bank or banks for the entire distance covered by said improvement, or for any part or portion thereof, or by said improvement shall prevent a river from resuming at a future time an ancient or abandoned channel or bed, or shall construct improvements intended so to do, all the right, title and interest of the state of Washington in and to said abandoned channel or channels, bed or beds, bank or banks, up to and including the line of ordinary high water, shall be and the same is hereby given, granted and conveyed jointly to the counties making such improvement.
[ 1915 c 140 § 1; RRS § 9662. Formerly RCW 86.12.090.]

Liability of county or counties to others.

See RCW 86.12.037.