Montana PSC, City of Missoula Spar Over Mountain Water
The city of Missoula is attempting to get the Montana Public Service Commission to hold off on its oversight of Mountain Water Company’s transfer and filed papers last Thursday to get the courts to halt that process.
“There’s two different issues going on here as the people who follow this probably already know, there’s the City’s condemnation of the water system, and then there’s also, simultaneously, in front of the commission a proposed sale of Mountain Water from the current owner to a new owner, which is Liberty Utility and that’s what we’re involved in,” PSC public information officer Eric Sell said.
Sell said the PSC has countered the city of Missoula’s request with new paperwork filed this week.
“They have gone to district court asking the court to get involved to stay or dismiss this preceding as well, so we filed a motion to dismiss the city’s request for judicial review on Monday, we believe that the proceedings should go forward because it is in the purview of the commission and that’s what state law requires: that the commission oversee these transfers,” Sell said.
The PSC and the city of Missoula have sparred over the issue of Mountain Water Company on numerous occasions. The back-and-forth started long ago: even before the city pursued condemnation, Mayor John Engen often said that the city would provide better oversight and more local control than the PSC.