Government

Ohio AG Files Motion to Appoint Receiver for Youngstown Thermal

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Ohio Attorney General’s office, on behalf of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, has filed a complaint in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court seeking an order compelling troubled Youngstown Thermal LLC to maintain service to its customers through the appointment of a receiver.

The PUCO issued an order on June 30 that determined Youngstown Thermal’s financial condition “presents a serious risk that service will not be provided to the customers,” according to papers filed with the court.

As such, the PUCO has requested the attorney general seek an appointment of a receiver to operate the downtown district heating and cooling utility.

A receiver would “facilitate the collection of accounts receivable, the creation of accurate accounting records and the establishment of new rates of service, all of which are necessary for the continuation of utility service to Youngstown Thermal’s customers.”

The measure filed today asks the court to order Youngstown Thermal to comply with the PUCO’s order.

Last week, the PUCO staff issued a report that detailed a series of problems associated with Youngstown Thermal.

The report found that the utility is in imminent danger of insolvency, was unable to process payroll, was noncompliant in its record keeping, is in default of a major loan, and presents “a significant risk that they will be unable to continue to provide service to their customers,” documents say.

As of June 15, the PUCO staff discovered that Youngstown Thermal owed more than $200,000 to natural gas, electric and water service suppliers. The staff also found that Youngstown Thermal owed more than $7 million on a term loan secured in 2011 for $5 million.

The case is assigned to Judge R. Scott Krichbaum’s court.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.