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Missoula Mayor Says Legal Fees For Water Company Takeover Are Worth The Cost

Courtesy photo

Media outlets including Montana Public Radio earlier reported that the legal bill for the City of Missoula in its condemnation action against Mountain Water Company had reached $3.5 million. Missoula Mayor John Engen says that number is not accurate.

If I told you that I could spend $4 and save $157, would that be a reasonable investment? The question here, is spending $4 million, or whatever the number is, a reasonable investment to save tens or hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of the lifetime of the system, and I hope the answer is yes, and I believe it is. - Mayor John Engen

Mountain Water Company has maintained throughout the condemnation proceedings that the city is better off leaving its water supply to the private sector, and that money being spent on condemnation would better be directed to more pressing municipal needs.

Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.
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