Missoula water utility sold to private company 'without state permission'
Liberty purchased Mountain Water's parent company, Park Water, in California and Mountain Water from the Carlyle Group for $327 million.
Sell said the PSC met with attorneys Monday. The announcement prompted them to file court papers Monday afternoon to try to lift a court-ordered stay.
Commissioners want to talk to officials from the city, Liberty and Mountain Water. The motion says the only purpose is to hear what all sides have to say about the sale.
Missoula Mayor John Engen released a statement that said, in part, "The reality is that the City of Missoula won the condemnation case and has the court order to prove it. The City has the right to take possession of the water system at a price that has been determined in court."
The City of Missoula went to court to sue for ownership of Mountain Water under state eminent domain laws. A judge approved the purchase and the city was set to go to court Monday over the value of the water company, but instead the city dropped its appeal Friday.
Some residents we talked with say they want Missoula to own its water.
"We have a stake in how it's run and the upkeep of it and how much is charged for the utility," said Missoula resident David Tyson.
A commenter on KECI’s Facebook page said, "I think it's awesome. Engen wants to play ball with the big boys but he is way out of his league. This sale was being negotiated before the city even started."
Last week Engen said the city's next step would be to wait on an appeal currently in Montana Supreme Court filed by the Carlyle Group challenging the initial condemnation suit.