Wagga City Council's decision to cut ties with the Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation (REROC) will not affect the roll out of its smart city lights program, but it may mean the council will foot a higher bill for the project.
The Southern Lights Project plans to replace up to 80,000 lights across 41 Riverina councils with brighter smart technology began its life more than a year ago.
Up to 7000 street lights are earmarked for replacement in Wagga.
But now that the council has announced it will begin distancing itself from REROC by the end of June, the organisation has confirmed it will not be responsible for subsidising consultancy fees.
"We'll continue to work with Wagga City Council, and they will stay as members until the end of June," said Julie Briggs, head of the Southern Lights Project.
"The only difference is the funding of consultants, especially if it drags on after June. We'll have to negotiate who will pay and how much, but that's a similar situation to what we're facing in Broken Hill."
The total cost of to deliver the project is estimated to be $71 million, with a business case now before the state government to cover up to $61 million.
"We're hoping they will see how it can empower even the smallest community," said Ms Briggs.
"The nature of this technology and the communications infrastructure we'll be installing will benefit towns who want to deploy more smart city technology in the long run.
"The numbers stack up, it makes sense. I remain hopeful we'll get that funding."
The state having now held its election, Ms Briggs and the REROC team are hoping swift action will bring the plans to a head.
"The dilemma is now in finding out what's changed," said Ms Briggs.
"There has been a lot of restructuring in the government and we need to wait to hear what's going to happen now that the dust is settling."
Previously trialed in parts of the Northern Territory, the smart lights system will allow the automatic adjusting illumination on-demand.
The success of the funding application will likely be known by the end of the 2018/19 financial year.
Ms Briggs expressed sadness that this project may represent the final interaction between REROC and Wagga City Council.
"Given that [the council] actually started REROC - it was their initiative in the first place - it is disappointing to see it end," said Ms Briggs.
"It won't be the same, but councils have to be free to make decision they see as most beneficial to their communities."