MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court heard arguments in Mountain Water Co.'s appeal of a state judge's order allowing the city of Missoula to purchase the water system that serves its citizens.

Mountain Water officials argued Friday that the city didn't offer enough evidence for the judge to conclude that the city's ownership was "more necessary" than that of The Carlyle Group, and that the decision violated their property rights.

Gary Zadick argued District Judge Karen Townsend didn't take into account the sale would lead to reduced pay and benefits for Mountain Water employees.

Harry Schneider spoke for the city. He said Townsend had ample evidence to find the city should be allowed to buy the water utility and that it had the bonding capacity to raise enough money.

The Supreme Court took the matter under advisement.