PSC Challenges Missoula on Lawsuit Spending Over Water Case
Relations between the city of Missoula and the Montana Public Service Commission seem to be at a boiling point over the transfer of ownership of the city’s water distribution system. On Tuesday, the Montana PSC received word that the city of Missoula had filed a second petition.
"The city has again filed another petition, an amended petition," said PSC Public Information Officer Eric Sell. "We asserted in response to their first petition that they cited the wrong section in the Montana Administrative procedures act and it looks like they're taking another run at it. What they have said to us is it is 'out of an abundance of caution' that they filed the second amended petition."
The city is asking the courts to “Direct the PSC to dismiss" or "stay” the transfer of Mountain Water Company ownership to Algonquin as it attempts to acquire the water system for itself through eminent domain. The city is also asking for the PSC to cover its attorney’s fees. When asked to comment on the legal fees, Sell took a jab at the city’s legal spending over this issue.
"I wouldn't be surprised to see that the folks in Missoula are getting a little antsy, seeing that the city is, again, filing another petition and, again, incurring more legal costs," Sell said. "How much is this continued litigation costing the taxpayers of Missoula? I think they've incurred a lot during this whole proceeding and I'd be interested to It would be interesting to see it they kept [the spending] at the number originally requested by city council."
Sell says the PSC will issue its response to the city’s second amended petition sometime within the next two weeks.