Montana’s Supreme Court heard arguments last week in a case that will determine the future of Missoula’s water utility. The City of Missoula is trying to take ownership of that city’s water utility – Mountain Water Company. Mountain Water says Missoula has no right to take it and turn it into a public asset.

Last year a district court judge ruled in favor of the city, saying public ownership is a “more public use” than the utility staying in private hands. The City has pointed out that 128 incorporated Montana communities successfully own and operate their own water systems.

City Attorney Harry Schneider said there’s wide public support for public acquisition of Mountain Water. A ruling is not expected for some time.