Wagga households could face hundreds of dollars in additional council rates or future budgets with higher debt under draft proposals to cover the city's $83 million infrastructure shortfall.
Wagga City Council's draft long term financial plan has raised two possibilities, higher rates or higher borrowings, to tackle the "infrastructure maintenance and renewal shortfall" over the next ten years.
Wagga Ratepayers Association chief Lynne Bodell told The Daily Advertiser that households and businesses were facing a choice "between a rock and a hard place".
"Neither of the options are going to be popular with ratepayers, you can guarantee that," she said.
"I know Wagga is growing but sometimes I think we are aiming at trying to have the best of everything in the state, such as the sporting complexes.
"Are we really going to be able to afford to maintain all these new facilities when there is a huge gap between what the council is getting in rates and what the state and federal governments can subsidise."
If the council proceeds with a new Special Rate Variation (SRV), and receives approval from the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, the average city or suburban household would pay $186 extra per year.
The average city business would pay an additional $1158 in rates but village and rural businesses would face a $111 average increase.
"In order to eliminate (the infrastructure shortfall), the option of a SRV to commence in 2021/22 following on from the 2016-2021 for the SRV Levee Upgrade Project is to be investigated which will include further community engagement and development of the asset management plans," the draft plan stated.
Under a rate variation averaging 19 per cent, the council could raise an additional $66 million over ten years.
The alternative proposal was to borrow money from outside the council, which would see $45 million in additional debt repayments over 10 years.
Ms Bodell said she would like to see state and federal governments commit money for additional infrastructure maintenance as part of grants to build new roads and bridges.
The draft financial report and the draft schedule of new fees and charges will be presented to councillors at Monday night's meeting.
The next stage of the process, with coucillors' approval, would be to put the draft plans on display and invite public submissions for the next 28 days.
The draft plans forecast the council was on track to remove the 4.1 per cent special rates variation to pay for the flood level works by the end of the 2020/21 financial year.
However, under one of the the draft long-term financial plan proposals, a brand new Special Rate Variation for infrastructure could apply as soon as the additional levee rates were removed.
The council put the rates variation, which included 1.9 per cent additional rates for farmland, in place for five years to pay for the $23 million main city and North Wagga levee upgrades.