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Montana News
The latest Montana politics, elections and Legislature news.

City Of Missoula Says Residents Are Being Overcharged For Water

NorthWestern Energy has requested an $11 million natural gas rate increase. The rate hike requires the approval of the Montana Public Service Commission.
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The City of Missoula says the recent sale of the city’s water utility company should mean lower rates, but instead, city residents are being overcharged for water.";

The City of Missoula says the recent sale of the city’s water utility company should mean lower rates, but instead, city residents are being overcharged for water.

Attorney for the city Natasha Jones made that argument in front of the Montana Public Service Commission. The PSC is in Missoula Tuesday and Wednesday, holding a hearing on the latest sale of Mountain Water Company.

Jones says the sale of Mountain Water to its new parent company means lower interest rates on Mountain Water’s debts, and that those savings should be passed onto customers.

"To ignore the truth of what is happening at the holding company and parent company would result in unjust rates."

Witnesses for the Canadian company that now owns Mountain Water said its rates are appropriate. A company executive told the PSC that investigations into the finances of parent or holding companies above it are irrelevant to Montana regulators setting prices.

It’s unclear what action or actions the PSC might take.

These proceedings are outside Missoula’s attempt to take ownership of Mountain Water through condemnation. That case is currently being considered by the state supreme court.

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