Bottling-plant founder won’t testify at hearing

Print Article

Lew Weaver with the well at Montana Artesian Water Company’s facility near Creston (Patrick Reilly/Daily Inter Lake)

The record of the water-use permit hearing for the Montana Artesian Water Company will close Oct. 31 and the next phase of the permitting process will begin.

Montana Artesian’s controversial request to withdraw up to 710 acre-feet of water per year was the subject of a three-day courtroom-style hearing last month. While attorneys from both sides presented evidence and cross-examined expert witnesses, the Creston company’s founder, Lew Weaver, never took the stand.

The hearing’s audio record shows that on the hearing’s first day Sept. 19, attorneys from both sides had agreed to begin cross-examining Weaver the following day. That night, however, he suffered a medical emergency and could not attend. While the hearing’s proceedings concluded on Sept. 21, the record remained open.

Attorneys from both sides addressed this matter in a conference call Wednesday.

Weaver’s attorney, Rick Tappan, told hearing examiner David Vogler that “we have taken a hard look at the [hearing] notes...and we don’t need to call Mr. Weaver at this time,” adding that Weaver was not under subpoena. John Ferguson, one of the objectors’ attorneys, protested, saying that he would have liked the opportunity to cross-examine Weaver.

But Vogler, citing the lack of a subpoena, decided that Weaver “cannot be compelled to testify in a direct capacity for any other party...In addition, Mr. Weaver, having never been examined by his own counsel cannot be subjected to any cross examination.”

“Mr. Weaver is not required to testify in this matter.”

Vogler has set an Oct. 31 deadline for the receipt of closing briefs. The record is now closed, except for receipt of those briefs and a transcript.

According to DNRC communications officer John Grassy, Oct. 31 begins a 90-day period in which Vogler can either grant the permit, grant it with modifications, or deny it. In previous interviews with the Daily Inter Lake, Weaver and his consultant, Darryl James, have not indicated any potential next steps.

But Deirdre Coit, who chairs the objectors’ group Water for Flathead’s Future, said she expects the dispute to escalate to district court.

Reporter Patrick Reilly can be reached at preilly@dailyinterlake.com, or 758-4407.

Print Article

Read More

AP Top 25 Takeaways: Notre Dame dominance; Penn St surgery

AP

October 22, 2017 at 12:11 am | The big games ended up being big blowouts. No. 2 Penn State and No. 13 Notre Dame helped pare down the College Football Playoff contenders with huge home victories Saturday night. Feel free to sc...

Comments

Read More

SOCCER: Whitefish boys advance to state title game

October 21, 2017 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake FRENCHTOWN — Whitefish rode a high-flying offense to the state playoffs, but it was the Bulldogs’ defense that rose to the occasion on the biggest stage yet. Avery Hirsch converted a penalty kick ...

Comments

Read More

STATE XC: Bigfork’s Morley takes third straight state title

October 21, 2017 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake HELENA — For the third year in a row, no one could touch Bryn Morley. The Bigfork senior capped a magnificent high school cross country career with her third consecutive individual Class B girls s...

Comments

Read More

FRONTIER ROUNDUP: No. 11 Tech wrecks Northern, 93-19

October 21, 2017 at 5:00 am | Whitefish Pilot BUTTE — Montana Tech dominated MSU-Northern in a record-setting 93-19 victory on homecoming weekend at Alumni Coliseum on Saturday. The No. 11 Orediggers scored 66 points in the first half and had...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2017 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X