A couple people sent me this rate study, and you can see Missoula residents pay plenty for their water.
Not as much as Browning pays, though. Sheesh. Would rates go down if the city of Missoula bought Mountain Water?
I doubt it, and eventually, Mayor John Engen said they would definitely go up. In his memo about the ordinance that would authorize him to negotiate with the Carlyle Group to buy the water system, he offers a Q&A.
One question is, “What will it mean to customers?” Here’s his answer:
Our analysis suggests that in the near term, customers would notice very little change. Over the long term, the city would encourage conservation, accelerate systems repairs and maintenance and make plans to ensure the sustainability of the system. Our analysis suggests that we can purchase the system through revenue bonds and manage the debt without an immediate rate increase. I want to emphasize that the city will eventually raise rates, but those decisions are made by the City Council, subject to public hearings. Further, those rates don’t support profits to private investors, rather, they are reinvested in the system.
Also important is the pup in this photo: It’s SunDog! He’s about 85 pounds, he belongs to photographer Arthur Mouratidis, and he visited the newsroom yesterday. In our newsroom, a dog visit is like a birthday! FYI if you ever visit.
One more thing? Mountain Line has a new app. I’ve downloaded it, although I haven’t used it a lot yet. If you search in your app store for “MountainLine,” it’ll come up, and you’ll recognize the photo of the buses.
It has a “bus tracker” feature that I want to figure out. If you’re waiting for Route 6, say, I think it’s supposed to tell you when the next 6 will arrive at your stop.
Cool, right? If you check it out, let me know what you think at email@example.com.
— Keila Szpaller