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City Club Missoula - Missoula council members debate water system purchase

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January 13, 2015View for printing

At a Missoula City Club meeting, two city council members, one for the sale and the other opposed, discussed whether the city should take control of the water company.

Win or lose, Mountain Water Company users are bound to pay more for a failing system in need of repairs. That was a key takeaway from a discussion in Missoula Monday about the city's condemnation plans.

Combined legal fees in the lawsuit filed by the City of Missoula to condemn the water company are now estimated at $3.5 million and they could go much higher. That includes $1.4 million for Missoula, $1.4 million for Mountain Water Company and an estimated $700,000 for Carlisle, the investment group that owns Mountain Water.

The city sued Mountain Water Company and Carlyle last spring in Missoula County District Court. The trial is still several months away and an appeal is likely after that.

Lauren Bradley, Reporter,

Full Story: ... se/30670054


Debate over case against Mountain Water continues

A pair of Missoula City Council members argue the risk and benefits of the city owning Mountain Water.

But during a packed public meeting Monday the pair agreed there are a lot of unknowns about the continuing cost of the legal fight, and how much ownership could cost taxpayers in the long run.

by Dennis Bragg - MTN News Missoula

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Councilors debate city's effort to condemn Mountain Water Co.

It's clear the economic costs of condemnation are a risk to the public.

But what are the intangible risks of having Missoula's water, "a necessity of life," turned over to a foreign nation?

"If that doesn't give folks a moment of pause, I don't know what would," said Beverly McNamara.

McNamara participated in a sold-out City Club Missoula lunch on the topic of the city of Missoula's bid to condemn Mountain Water Co. City Club is a nonprofit with a mission to inform and inspire residents and promote new ideas.

By Keila Szpaller

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Reader Comments:

I think the Mayor of Missoula is WAY OFF base on this one. His actions have cost the taxpayers of Missoula $$$$ and, from what I know about this, I'm not convinced the water users of the garden city would frankly be 'better off' with the City in possession of the assets and system of Mountain Water company. The Garden City deserves better and you can quote me on that!

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