Supreme Court upholds Missoula eminent domain case
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — The city of Missoula has won the right to buy the water system that serves its residents.
The Montana Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling that found the city’s ownership was “more necessary” than ownership by a for-profit company.
The Supreme Court found District Judge Karen Townsend’s decision was based on substantial credible evidence, including public support of city ownership, the system’s need for upgrades and repairs and the $2 million in administrative costs that could be eliminated under city ownership.
Mayor John Engen told the Missoulian that the city was ready to cut the $88.6 million check to buy Mountain Water Co.
The city filed its condemnation lawsuit against The Carlyle Group in 2014. While the case was being litigated, Carlyle sold Mountain Water to Liberty Utilities.