The heating and cooling costs of some major downtown businesses and buildings, including Youngstown City Hall itself, have been a concern for more than a year. 

Now the utility provider, Youngstown Thermal, says they're on financially stable ground and want the city to take over operations. 

The thirty-six customers in the city the system serves may not seem like a lot. But, those customers are some major players in downtown including, the YMCA, the Businesses Incubator, Home Savings, and The Vindicator. 

That's one reason why city leaders invested their time Wednesday to meet on the future of Youngstown Thermal.

"And hopefully, getting the city to entertain the opportunity to take over the plant," said receiver Reg Martin.

But Mayor Tito Brown was more than skeptical of the proposal, especially given the city's tight budget.

"You're not going to pawn this off onto the city," said Brown.

It was just over a year ago that Youngstown Thermal was court ordered into receivership in an effort to get the system back on financially steady ground and continue providing the needed utility to customers.

But receivership isn't a long-term solution and Martin is now looking for the next step. He says the costs of operations are now breaking even and the city would be able to take them over without an incentive to make money, unlike private companies.

"They do not want something they can't make a margin on and that margin would be at the backs of your constituents. If the city doesn't want to help the businesses in this community, you don't have to take it over," said Martin.

"What I don't want to do is have this spin around again and say because Youngstown didn't take it, now these customers are going to suffer because what would happen is if we take this the citizens of Youngstown, as a whole, would suffer," said Brown.

During the meeting, there was talk of St. Elizabeth Hospital potentially signing on as a customer. If that were to happen, Youngstown Thermal estimates $250,000 to $500,000 more. That money could go to the city, or help bring overall rates down. 

But, city leaders still have concerns about operating a utility they know nothing about and from a system that has had its share of financial instability.