PSC denies city of Missoula’s motions to stop water company sale to Canadian utility (July 28, 2015)

The sale of Mountain Water Co. to the subsidiary of a Canadian conglomerate will continue to proceed before the Montana Public Service Commission, despite the city of Missoula’s claim to the company.

And the PSC will not bring Algonquin Power and Utilities Corp. of Canada into the sale proceedings.

On Tuesday, commissioners voted 5-0 to deny the city of Missoula’s request to dismiss or stay the sale application by Liberty Utilities Co. that’s pending before the body.

Commissioners also unanimously denied the city’s request that parent company Algonquin be a party to the case.

It’s important to understand that the issue before the commission is not affected by the condemnation case currently in the courts, Public Service Commission Chairman Brad Johnson said in a statement.

Moving forward with this proceeding allows the commission to gather more information to determine if Liberty Utilities Co. is qualified to take over ownership and operation of Mountain Water Co., and that determination is not affected by the condemnation case proceeding.

Last month, Missoula County District Judge Karen Townsend ruled the city can use its power of eminent domain to buy Mountain Water Co. from owner The Carlyle Group. Another court proceeding will determine a fair price for the city’s public drinking water system.

Before the trial, though, Carlyle announced it had signed a proposal to sell Mountain Water to Liberty, a subsidiary of Algonquin. That proceeding is pending before the Public Service Commission.


Source: Keila Szpaller, The Missoulian