A-13424, NOVEMBER 19, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 353

A-13424: Nov 19, 1926

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IS NOT AVAILABLE TO MAKE A CONTRIBUTION TO AID THE STATE AUTHORITIES IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF A PUBLIC HIGHWAY. THE FACTS AS TO THE TITLE TO THE PRESQUE ISLE RESERVATION ARE STATED TO BE AS FOLLOWS: PRESQUE ISLE PENINSULA WAS DEEDED TO THE UNITED STATES BY THE MARINE HOSPITAL OF PENNSYLVANIA ON MAY 25. THE CONSENT OF THE STATE TO THE PURCHASE OF THE LAND WAS GRANTED AND JURISDICTION WAS CEDED TO THE UNITED STATES BY ACTS OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE DATED APRIL 18. THE SECRETARY OF WAR WAS AUTHORIZED TO ACCEPT THE TITLE BY AN ACT OF CONGRESS APPROVED MAY 27. THE TITLE WAS FINALLY ACCEPTED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR ON DECEMBER 14. A REVOCABLE LICENSE WAS GRANTED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE TO OCCUPY TWO STRIPS OF LAND.

A-13424, NOVEMBER 19, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 353

APPROPRIATIONS - LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE - HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION THE APPROPRIATION "GENERAL EXPENSES, LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE, 1927," ACT OF APRIL 29, 1926, 44 STAT. 360, IS NOT AVAILABLE TO MAKE A CONTRIBUTION TO AID THE STATE AUTHORITIES IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF A PUBLIC HIGHWAY, EVEN THOUGH THE BUILDING OF SUCH HIGHWAY MAY RESULT IN AN INCIDENTAL BENEFIT TO THE LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, NOVEMBER 19, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 10, 1926, IN WHICH YOU SUBMIT FOR DECISION A QUESTION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT MAY LEGALLY BE MADE FROM THE APPROPRIATION "GENERAL EXPENSES, LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE, 1927," 44 STAT. 360, OF THE SUM OF $5,000 AS A CONTRIBUTION TOWARD THE COST OF THE CONSTRUCTION OF A ROAD ACROSS THE PRESQUE ISLE LIGHTHOUSE RESERVATION, ERIE, PA., CONNECTING THE STATE PARK AT ERIE, PA., WITH THE CITY, SAID ROAD BEING A CONNECTING LINK IN THE STATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM. THE FACTS AS TO THE TITLE TO THE PRESQUE ISLE RESERVATION ARE STATED TO BE AS FOLLOWS:

PRESQUE ISLE PENINSULA WAS DEEDED TO THE UNITED STATES BY THE MARINE HOSPITAL OF PENNSYLVANIA ON MAY 25, 1871. THE CONSENT OF THE STATE TO THE PURCHASE OF THE LAND WAS GRANTED AND JURISDICTION WAS CEDED TO THE UNITED STATES BY ACTS OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE DATED APRIL 18, 1795, AND MAY 11, 1871. THE SECRETARY OF WAR WAS AUTHORIZED TO ACCEPT THE TITLE BY AN ACT OF CONGRESS APPROVED MAY 27, 1872 (17 STAT. 162). THE TITLE WAS FINALLY ACCEPTED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR ON DECEMBER 14, 1886. ON DECEMBER 21, 1910, A REVOCABLE LICENSE WAS GRANTED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE TO OCCUPY TWO STRIPS OF LAND, EACH 100 YARDS WIDE, ON THE PRESQUE ISLE PENINSULA, FOR LIGHTHOUSE PURPOSES.

IT APPEARS THAT PERMISSION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THE STATE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE TO CONSTRUCT THE ROAD ACROSS THE RESERVATION, BUT THAT FEDERAL AID IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF SAID ROAD WAS AT THAT TIME REFUSED BY YOU.

IT IS STATED IN YOUR SUBMISSION THAT THE ROAD WILL BE OF BENEFIT TO THE LIGHTHOUSE STATION, MAKING IT ACCESSIBLE BY LAND INSTEAD OF BY WATER. TO THIS IT MAY BE SAID THAT WHATEVER MAY BE THE BENEFIT RESULTING TO THE LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE, SUCH BENEFIT IS ONLY INCIDENTAL, THE PRIMARY OBJECT AND USE OF THE ROAD BEING AS A PUBLIC HIGHWAY. ACCORDINGLY, WHAT IS PROPOSED CAN NOT BE REGARDED AS OTHER THAN A VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTION TOWARD THE CONSTRUCTION OF A PUBLIC HIGHWAY, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR SUCH A CONTRIBUTION IT MUST BE HELD THERE IS NO APPROPRIATION UNDER YOUR CONTROL AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE FOR SUCH PURPOSE.