City of Missoula Files To Acquire Mountain Water Co. - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

City of Missoula Files To Acquire Mountain Water Co.

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The City of Missoula filed a complaint Wednesday, asking a District Court judge to entitle the city to acquire Missoula's water supply and distribution system by eminent domain.

Mountain Water Company's current owner, the Carlyle  Group has, so far, rejected all of the city's offers to buy Mountain Water.

State law authorizes the city to acquire and operate a water supply for public use of the city and its citizens, either by negotiated purchase or through the exercise of the power of eminent domain. That means a judge would approve the sale of Mountain Water in court.

"It is in the best interest of the public for the City of Missoula to own and operate its water supply and system as a public utility, at cost and not for profit," Mayor John Engen said. "Public ownership ensures that the people have access to and control over our clean and abundant water. This water system will be for sale, and the city should be the buyer."

Missoula is the only major city in Montana that does not own and operate its own water supply and distribution systems.

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