B-116225, OCTOBER 8, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 156

B-116225: Oct 8, 1953

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- WITH NO INDICATION SUCH TRANSFERS ARE CONTINGENT UPON THE PAYMENT OF CONSIDERATION . ARE NOT AVAILABLE TO PAY THE NATIONAL CAPITAL HOUSING AUTHORITY FOR THE LAND AND BUILDING REQUIRED BY THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR THE EAST CAPITOL STREET BRIDGE AND ITS APPROACHES. IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT BY LETTER OF APRIL 23. THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE AUTHORITY ADVISED THE COMMISSIONERS THAT IT MUST ASK FOR COMPENSATION FOR ALL THE INJURIES AND LOSSES IT WILL SUFFER. INCLUDING THE VALUE OF THE LAND THAT WILL BE TRANSFERRED FOR THE 37TH STREET EXIT. AS FOLLOWS: THE PROPERTY IS FINANCED BY MEANS OF SALE OF THE AUTHORITY'S BONDS TO PRIVATE INVESTORS AND THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION. SECURITY FOR THE BONDS IS A DECLARATION OF TRUST BY THE AUTHORITY PLEDGING RENTAL RECEIPTS IS NECESSARY TO THE BENEFIT OF THE INVESTORS AND PROHIBITION AGAINST ENCUMBRANCES.

B-116225, OCTOBER 8, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 156

APPROPRIATIONS - DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - CONSTRUCTION OF EAST CAPITOL STREET BRIDGE THE ACT OF JUNE 2, 1950, WHICH AUTHORIZES AND DIRECTS THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TO CONSTRUCT A BRIDGE OVER THE ANACOSTIA RIVER IN THE VICINITY OF EAST CAPITOL STREET, DIRECTS FEDERAL AGENCIES TO TRANSFER ANY LANDS UNDER THEIR JURISDICTION, NECESSARY FOR THE BRIDGE AND ITS APPROACHES, TO THE COMMISSIONERS UPON THEIR REQUEST--- WITH NO INDICATION SUCH TRANSFERS ARE CONTINGENT UPON THE PAYMENT OF CONSIDERATION --- AND THEREFORE THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATIONS FOR CAPITAL OUTLAY, STREET AND BRIDGE DIVISIONS, ARE NOT AVAILABLE TO PAY THE NATIONAL CAPITAL HOUSING AUTHORITY FOR THE LAND AND BUILDING REQUIRED BY THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR THE EAST CAPITOL STREET BRIDGE AND ITS APPROACHES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE PRESIDENT, BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, OCTOBER 8, 1953:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 14, 1953, IN WHICH YOU REFER TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 2, 1950. 64 STAT. 196, AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TO CONSTRUCT A BRIDGE OVER THE ANACOSTIA RIVER IN THE VICINITY OF EAST CAPITOL STREET. YOU STATE THAT PURSUANT TO SECTION 2 OF THE ACT, THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, BY LETTER OF APRIL 19, 1952, REQUESTED THE NATIONAL CAPITAL HOUSING AUTHORITY TO TRANSFER CERTAIN LAND, UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE AUTHORITY TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, REQUIRED BY THE COMMISSIONERS FOR THE SO-CALLED 37TH STREET EXIT FROM THE EAST CAPITOL STREET BRIDGE FACILITY. IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT BY LETTER OF APRIL 23, 1952, THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE AUTHORITY ADVISED THE COMMISSIONERS THAT IT MUST ASK FOR COMPENSATION FOR ALL THE INJURIES AND LOSSES IT WILL SUFFER, INCLUDING THE VALUE OF THE LAND THAT WILL BE TRANSFERRED FOR THE 37TH STREET EXIT, THE REASONS FOR SUCH POSITION APPARENTLY BEING THOSE SET FORTH IN LETTER OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE AUTHORITY DATED APRIL 22, 1953, AS FOLLOWS:

THE PROPERTY IS FINANCED BY MEANS OF SALE OF THE AUTHORITY'S BONDS TO PRIVATE INVESTORS AND THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION. SECURITY FOR THE BONDS IS A DECLARATION OF TRUST BY THE AUTHORITY PLEDGING RENTAL RECEIPTS IS NECESSARY TO THE BENEFIT OF THE INVESTORS AND PROHIBITION AGAINST ENCUMBRANCES. IN ADDITION THERE IS A PLEDGE OF ANNUAL CONTRIBUTIONS BY THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION. THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION'S DECISION TO THE AUTHORITY IS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE ACQUISITION BY THE DISTRICT OF THE LAND AND BUILDING FOR THE 37TH STREET EXIT TO THE PROPOSED BRIDGE MAY BE CONSIDERED "EMINENT DOMAIN PROCEEDINGS" WITHIN THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT AND THE BOND RESOLUTION, BUT THAT THE AUTHORITY MUST OBTAIN FULL MARKET VALUE FOR THE PORTION OF THE PROPERTY SO TAKEN SO THAT THE INTEREST OF THE BONDHOLDERS ARE NOT JEOPARDIZED. QUOTING FROM THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION'S DECISION: "TO CONVEY THE LAND WITHOUT COST TO THE DISTRICT WOULD JEOPARDIZE THE PRIVATE BONDHOLDERS AND WOULD BE CONTRARY TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS (OF THE CONTRACT).' ALSO," IT SHOULD FURTHER BE NOTED THAT THE DISPOSITION OF THE BUILDINGS WILL RESULT IN LOSS OF RENTAL REVENUES AND WOULD, IF UNCOMPENSATED, REQUIRE A GREATER FEDERAL ANNUAL SUBSIDY.'

YOU STATE THAT THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BELIEVE THAT THE NATIONAL CAPITAL HOUSING AUTHORITY IS REQUIRED TO TRANSFER JURISDICTION TO THE INVOLVED LAND AND BUILDING TO THE COMMISSIONERS WITHOUT COMPENSATION THEREFOR BY VIRTUE OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE CITED SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 2, 1950, WHICH PROVIDES THAT:

THE FEDERAL AGENCIES HAVING CONTROL AND JURISDICTION OVER THE LANDS IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF SUCH BRIDGE AND APPROACHES THERETO SHALL TRANSFER TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UPON THEIR REQUEST, THE AREAS TO BE OCCUPIED BY SUCH BRIDGE, APPROACHES, AND CONNECTING ROADS, ALL AS SHOWN MORE PARTICULARLY ON PLANS OF SUCH BRIDGE, APPROACHES, AND CONNECTING ROADS, TO BE PREPARED AND APPROVED BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE: * * *

YOU REQUEST A DECISION ON THIS QUESTION, AND, IN THE EVENT IT SHOULD BE CONCLUDED THAT THE DISTRICT IS REQUIRED TO PAY FOR THE LAND AND BUILDING, YOU REQUEST A FURTHER DECISION AS TO THE METHOD OF VALUATION TO BE USED IN DETERMINING THE AMOUNT TO BE PAID THEREFOR.

IMPLICIT IN YOUR SUBMISSION IS THE PRINCIPAL QUESTION PROPER FOR CONSIDERATION BY THIS OFFICE, NAMELY, WHETHER THE FUNDS PROVIDED FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE EAST CAPITOL STREET BRIDGE ARE AVAILABLE TO PAY THE AUTHORITY FOR THE PROPERTY TO BE TRANSFERRED. AND, THIS QUESTION MUST BE DETERMINED IN THE LIGHT OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE APPROPRIATION ACTS MAKING SUCH FUNDS AVAILABLE, AND OF THE BASIC ACT OF JUNE 2, 1950, AUTHORIZING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE BRIDGE.

WHILE THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR CAPITAL OUTLAY, STREET AND BRIDGE DIVISIONS, CONTAINED IN THE ANNUAL DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1951 THROUGH 1954 ARE AVAILABLE IN GENERAL TERMS " FOR EXPENSES NECESSARY" IN CARRYING OUT BRIDGE AND HIGHWAY PROJECTS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, NOTHING IS FOUND IN THE TERMS THEREOF OR IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE APPROPRIATION ACTS DISCLOSING A CONGRESSIONAL INTENTION THAT SUCH FUNDS BE AVAILABLE TO PAY FOR THE FEDERAL PROPERTY REQUIRED TO BE TRANSFERRED PURSUANT TO SECTION 2 OF THE 1950 ACT ABOVE QUOTED. SO FAR AS THAT STATUTE IS CONCERNED, IN VIEW OF THE PLAIN AND UNCOMPROMISING MANDATE CONTAINED THEREIN DIRECTING FEDERAL AGENCIES TO TRANSFER ANY LANDS UNDER THEIR JURISDICTION TO BE OCCUPIED BY THE BRIDGE-- - WITH NO INDICATION ANYWHERE THAT SUCH TRANSFERS ARE CONTINGENT UPON THE PAYMENT OF SOME CONSIDERATION THEREFOR--- I AM CONSTRAINED TO CONCLUDE THAT ANY SUCH LANDS AS ARE NECESSARY FOR THE BRIDGE AND ITS APPROACHES WERE INTENDED BY THE CONGRESS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WITHOUT PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION. NO REASON IS PERCEIVED FOR MAKING AN EXCEPTION IN THE CASE OF THE PROPERTY UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL HOUSING AUTHORITY.

THERE HAS NOT BEEN OVERLOOKED IN THIS CONNECTION THE LAST PROVISO TO SECTION 1 (D) OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ALLEY DWELLING ACT OF JUNE 12, 1934, 48 STAT. 930, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1938, 52 STAT. 1186, WHICH PROVIDES GENERALLY THAT ANY LAND, BUILDING OR STRUCTURE OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL HOUSING AUTHORITY REQUIRED FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE UNITED STATES OR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MAY BE TRANSFERRED THERETO UPON PAYMENT TO THE AUTHORITY OF THE REASONABLE VALUE OF SUCH PROPERTY. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE GENERAL TERMS OF THAT STATUTE, AS OPPOSED TO THE TERMS OF THE TRANSFER PROVISION IN THE LATER ACT OF 1950, WHICH ARE DIRECTED SPECIFICALLY AND ONLY TO THE LAND IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF THE PROPOSED BRIDGE AND ITS APPROACHES, IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THE LATER ACT MUST BE REGARDED AS CONTROLLING HERE.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE APPROPRIATIONS TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR CAPITAL OUTLAY, STREET AND BRIDGE DIVISIONS, ARE NOT AVAILABLE TO PAY FOR THE LAND AND BUILDING THEREON OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL HOUSING AUTHORITY REQUIRED BY THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR THE EAST CAPITOL STREET BRIDGE AND ITS APPROACHES. CONSIDERATION OF YOUR SECOND QUESTION IS THUS UNNECESSARY.

IT MAY BE SUGGESTED THAT IF, AS REPRESENTED, THE CONCLUSION HERE REACHED WILL HAVE AN ADVERSE EFFECT UPON THE INTERESTS OF CERTAIN PRIVATE BONDHOLDERS, THE MATTER SHOULD BE BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE CONGRESS FOR ITS CONSIDERATION AND SUCH REMEDIAL LEGISLATION AS MAY BE REQUIRED.