The Mountain Water condemnation trial on Thursday, March 19, featured a lot of arguing over what documents could or couldn’t be exposed in court. City attorneys complained that “thousands” of documents had been marked “For Attorney’s Eyes Only” by Carlyle and that this had made it difficult for the city to plan.

Documents and graphs were the order of the day as the city questioned Missoula Chief Administrative Officer Bruce Bender, who claimed that Carlyle had planned on increasing rates rapidly. A chart showed plans for an increase in rate base over the next 6 years, from 39 million to 59 million.

When asked what that would mean for rates, Bender responded, "My understanding is that the rates will follow that, in other words your going from 40 to 60, that's basically a 50 percent increase."

Bender also claimed that Carlyle wasn’t investing in Mountain Water Company anywhere close to the rate it was investing in its two California water systems.

Again, using charts, bender noted that Central Basin was receiving $9.7 million in investments, Apple Valley received $10 million, while Missoula only received around $4 million.

According to Bender, the Carlyle plan for 2016 was almost the same for Missoula, while one of the California systems would receive an increase of funds.


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