(Cincinnati) -- It's been a hot topic since it was first introduced in 2007.  And for hours, Monday night, at City Hall, the topic again was the streetcar.  City Manager Milton Dohoney talked for about an hour, with friendly witnesses from Portland and Toronto, about the beginnings, the troubles, and the philosophy behind the streetcar.

He says the streetcar is designed to reverse Cincinnati's declining population, by making the city's core more attractive.

Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls called Monday night's public hearing, after construction costs came back more than $17 million above initial projections.  Qualls wanted public input on whether or not the project should go forward, and there were those who said no.  But, most of the nearly 60 people who signed up to speak, testified they wanted the project to continue.

Dohoney warned Council that if the project were killed now, the City would have spent nearly $34 million with nothing to show.  He also cautioned that canceling the project would mean Cincinnati would have to return federal funding, and that action would make getting grants more difficult in the future.