John Engen

Mountain Water Purchase
5:07 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Public Hearing On Mountain Water Purchase Tonight

The Missoula City Council may vote tonight on a proposal that would allow the mayor to continue his effort to force the sale of the local water company to the city.

The Carlyle Group currently owns Mountain Water Company. A Canadian firm, Algonquin Power,  has entered into an agreement to purchase Mountain Water and its California based parent company for $327 million.

The city's attempt to use eminent domain to take ownership of Mountain Water has proven to be costly and raised a few eyebrows.

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Mountain Water Condemnation
5:33 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Mountain Water Employees Ask Mayor To Stop Condemnation Attempt

Missoula Mayor John Engen says the city won’t abandon its efforts to buy Mountain Water.
Credit Courtesy photo

The employees of Missoula’s privately-owned Mountain Water Company today asked the city to give up its quest to buy the company via condemnation.

Missoula Mayor John Engen says the city won’t abandon its efforts to buy Mountain Water.

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Montana News
6:07 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Missoula Mayor Meets With Algonquin CEO

Missoula Mayor John Engen talks about his meeting with Algonquin Power & Utilities, the proposed buyers of Missoula's water system, at a press conference on Sept. 24, 2014.
Credit Eric Whitney

Missoula Mayor John Engen says he understands Algonquin's intent in buying Mountain Water, but he's not convinced the company can actually buy it, given the city's attempts to take ownership by condemnation from The Carlyle Group. Engen spoke at a press conference in his office this morning after meeting with Algonquin's CEO.

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Mountain Water Sale
3:58 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Algonquin CEO Visits Missoula, Likes Mountain Water

Algonquin Power and Utilities CEO Ian Robertson.
Credit Danny Dauterive

Montana Public Radio’s Edward O’Brien sat down with Algonquin Power and Utilities CEO Ian Robertson. Robertson says "we would like to be part of the Montana utility landscape forever."

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Missoula Water Ownership
6:07 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Mayor: Mountain Water Sale Changes Nothing For City's Condemnation Plans

Missoula Mayor John Engen said today the sale of Missoula's water company doesn't change the city's plan to buy Mountain Water.
Credit Edward O'Brien

It looks like Missoula's city water system could be sold to a Canadian company.

Liberty Utilities, a subsidiary of Algonquin Power & Utilities, has reached an agreement with The Carlyle Group, which currently owns Missoula's water system.

Algonquin is expected to pay an estimated $327 million for Missoula's system and three other utilities. That price includes assumption of about $77 million of existing long-term debt.

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Missoula College Groundbreaking
5:22 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Montana Dignitaries Break Ground On Missoula College Site

Montana dignitaries gathered just offshore of the Clark Fork River to officially break ground on construction of the Missoula College’s new site on Friday, August 22, 2014.
Credit Christopher Allen

On a blustery, rainy afternoon, several Montana dignitaries gathered just offshore of the Clark Fork River today to officially break ground on construction of the Missoula College’s new site.

Officials expect construction of the $32 million project to last about two years, after nearly eight years of planning and some controversy. College officials considered several other sites, including the 90-year-old university golf course, before funding complications and public protest forced them to look elsewhere.

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Mountain Water Company
5:02 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Missoula, Apple Valley Collaborate On Publicly Owned Water Utilities

Missoula and the southern California town of Apple Valley are separated by over 11-hundred miles, but both have at least one thing in common; officials from both towns want their local water systems under public ownership.

Leaders from both communities met earlier this week in Missoula to discuss ways to do just that.

Apple Valley's water system is owned and operated by Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company. In Missoula, it's Mountain Water Company.

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Spring doggie blitz
3:03 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Scoop it up and leash that pup!

Engen and Alta Jonessian talking policy. Sophia Cowmey's in the blue.
Edward O'Brien

A second grade exercise in persuasive letter writing led to an official reminder from Missoula authorities today: leash your dogs and - oh yeah - don't forget to pick up their poop, too.

Edward O'Brien has more:

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Water Purchase
3:37 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

City of Missoula goes to court to get water system

Missoula Mayor John Engen speaking to reporters about the Mountain Water eminent domain filing
Credit 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.

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Megaloads
5:44 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Lawmakers ask if Missoula can charge fees to megaload shipments

State lawmakers are asking what rights local governments have to charge fees to megaload shipments moving through Montana cities and towns.

These vehicles carry enormous pieces of equipment, blocking traffic as they haul their freight often to the tar sands of Canada or the Bakken oil patch.

The legislature’s Revenue and Transportation Interim committee inquired into the fees Tuesday.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says the city of Missoula began charging them a few years ago. 

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