1. Water Utility Acquisition
  2. Community Quality of LIFe initiative
  3. Plan to End Homelessness
  4. Homeless Needs assessment
  5. Best Place Project
  6. Mayor's housing initiative
  7. Mayor's Strategic plan
  8. work together - development review study
  9. Citizen Surveys

Water Utility Acquisition

In his third term, Mayor John Engen worked diligently to ensure the security of the citizens of Missoula's water supply and distribution system. In doing so, he and his leadership team pursued ownership of the privately held Mountain Water Company. When the company's international owners declined the City's offers of purchase, the acquisition attempt became the subject of a court case. On behalf of the citizens of Missoula, Mayor Engen and the City of Missoula completed the purchase of the utility that supplies and distributes Missoula's water. On June 22, 2017 in Judge Karen Townsend's District Court courtroom, the former Mountain Water Company became Missoula Water.

Eminent Domain Trial

On June 15, 2015, District Court Judge Karen Townsend issued the findings of fact (PDF), conclusions of law, and preliminary order of condemnation. The trial began on March 18 and concluded on April 6.

Trial Videos

All videos from the trial are available for viewing on our website. Make sure to click the minutes tab to be able to see the bookmarks in the videos. You can select the date of the trial below.

DateSession 1Session 2
March 18, 2015MorningAfternoon
March 19, 2015MorningAfternoon
March 20, 2015MorningAfternoon
March 23, 2015MorningN/A
March 25, 2015MorningAfternoon
March 26, 2015MorningAfternoon
March 27, 2015MorningAfternoon
March 30, 2015MorningAfternoon
April 1, 2015MorningAfternoon
April 2, 2015MorningAfternoon
April 3, 2015MorningN/A
April 6, 2015N/AAfternoon

Valuation Court Proceedings

Valuation proceedings began on November 2, 2015, in front of a three-member commission that was charged with setting the value of the company. The water commission members agreed unanimously on a value of $88.6 million on November 17.


All videos from the valuation are available on our website. Make sure to click the minutes tab to be able to see the bookmarks in the videos. You can select the date of the trial below:

Supreme Court Hearing

The Montana Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the City of Missoula v. Mountain Water Company and Carlyle Infrastructure Partners at the University of Montana on April 22, 2016. The Supreme Court limited the oral argument to whether the Fourth Judicial District Court, through Judge Karen Townsend, correctly applied the state law governing condemnation when it ruled that municipal ownership of the water system is a "more necessary public use" than private ownership and granted a preliminary order of condemnation. April 22, 2016

Water Utility Status Update and Summary

In January 2018, city staff attended a forum to discuss Missoula Water operations and to explain the financing for the acquisition. You can read the information (PDF) or watch the entire video.