eminent domain

Councilman Bryan Von Lossberg addresses a rally in favor of a Missoula takeover of the city's drinking water in March of 2015
Josh Burnham

Montana’s Supreme Court yesterday handed the city of Missoula a win in the legal battle to take ownership of the city’s drinking water system.

Feds Dismiss Tongue River Railroad Permit

The federal government has dismissed the permit for the controversial Tongue River Railroad. That’s the $400-million-dollar project that would have hauled coal from a proposed southeastern Montana mine that never got off the ground.

The Montana Supreme Court hears arguments April, 22 2016 over the eminent domain case involving Mountain Water Company in Missoula.
Bree Zender

Montana’s Supreme Court today heard arguments in a case that will determine the future of Missoula’s water utility. The City of Missoula first tried to take ownership of Mountain Water Company by condemnation in the 1980s. Its current attempt that the court is now considering started in 2013.

Mountain Water Company, Missoula, MT.
Cheri Trusler

The legal wrangling over the future of Missoula’s water utility moves to the Montana Supreme Court Friday. Montana Supreme Court justices hear oral arguments in that case at the University of Montana. The city wants to take ownership by condemnation of Mountain Water Company for the legally determined price of $88 million dollars.

Mountain Water Company, Missoula, MT.
Cheri Trusler

Missoula's mayor says he's glad a judge agrees with the city that public ownership of the local water utility is better than private ownership. But John Engen says there’s still a lot of work to be done , not the least of which is determining a fair price for Mountain Water Company.

Mountain Water Company, Missoula, MT.
Cheri Trusler

Attorneys presented their opening arguments today in the city of Missoula’s lawsuit to force the sale of its water utility from current owners, Mountain Water Company and the Carlyle Group. The city filed the suit nearly a year ago, claiming it's in the best interest of Missoulians for the city to operate it instead of a private company.

Missoulians To Carlyle Group: 'It's Our Water'

Mar 17, 2015
Josh Burnham

The city of Missoula’s attempt to seize ownership of its water from its current owner will begin in district court tomorrow. The city is suing The Carlyle Group, a global private firm, for ownership of Mountain Water Company.

Gathered in front of the county courthouse Tuesday afternoon, nearly 70 Missoulians sang, spoke and chanted in support of the city's effort.

City Councilman Jason Wiener was quite clear about where he stood on the issue.

Sally Mauk

The city of Missoula has filed to obtain its privately owned water system through eminent domain. The complaint was filed in District Court. The city has been trying to negotiate a purchase of the Mountain Water company from its owner, the Carlyle Group, but has not been able to reach agreement. Missoula is the only major Montana city not to own its water system, and Mayor John Engen says it's in the public's best interest to control its water. He says the current owner is only interested in profit and has not been a good steward of the water system.