City Of Missoula To Continue Legal Action For Mountain Water Co. - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

City Of Missoula To Continue Legal Action For Mountain Water Co.

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MISSOULA -

Mountain Water Company is for sale, but Mayor John Engen said the city will continue taking legal action against its current owner until the city has full ownership of Missoula's water supply.

To the city's surprise, Mountain Water Company's owner, the Carlyle Group, sent a letter to the city on Wednesday, saying the water company is for sale. The Carlyle Group acquired Mountain Water's parent company and all of its assets, including Missoula's water in 2011.

After the Carlyle Group rejected the city's offers to buy the company, the city asked a district court judge to allow it to acquire Mountain Water Company by eminent domain. With that lawsuit pending, the Carlyle Group sent the letter saying it will consider any offer the city makes.

Still, Mayor Engen said the city will go on with the lawsuit.

"We believed the asset was going to be for sale and we wanted to be in the strongest position to buy it. Clearly filing a lawsuit for eminent domain does that. We will litigate until we can negotiate," Engen said.

The litigation process has so far cost the city about $150,000. The city has a budget of $400,000 set aside for the litigation process.


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