The former site of Matong's Farmers Home Hotel remains a vacant lot nearly a year since the pub was damaged by fire and condemned for demolition.
Coolamon Shire has spent more than $40,000 cleaning up the site and is still chasing the pub's absent owner to recover its costs.
Matong Community Group chairwoman Sonya Currie said the town had a strong community but it would benefit from having another business that would attract more people.
"We are none-the-wiser with what is happening with the pub," she said.
"We have had no communication with its owners.
"It has just been devastating that there is no pub anymore."
The rubble has been removed and the land flattened with an empty block remaining at the intersection of the town's main thoroughfares.
"A lot of people who have really fond memories of the pub still talk about it and express how sad it is that there's nothing there," Ms Currie said.
"But Matong in itself has a really active community community group and we're working on Matong to make it a really beautiful place.
"We have been focusing on the beautification of Matong. There's nothing we can do about the pub, it's gone."
The pub was closed in 2008 following a fire, with the building remaining vacant as its ownership changed hands and a string of financial and regulatory disputes prevented a restoration.
A pre-dawn fire gutted the pub's interior in early November 2018, forcing Coolamon Shire to obtain an emergency order to demolish the building due to the risk of its brick exterior collapsing onto nearby roads.
Coolamon Shire planning and environment executive manager Colby Farmer said the council had little hope of recovering the site clean-up bill, which could have been better spent on supporting small towns.
"We have contacted the owner, or tried to, as the owner is harder to find than Batman," Mr Farmer said.
"The demolition was estimated at $4000 and clean up to landfill facilities and compaction of the site was about $37,000.
"The chances of us recovering the money are about the same as my chance of winning Oz Lotto."
Coolamon Shire has now placed its costs as a charge against the land to be paid as a debt if the property is sold.
One of the pub's co-owners, Bruce Maples, did not respond to a request for comment.
The co-owners had previously fought a legal battle with Coolamon Shire over the council's previous attempt to order the pub's demolition.
The pub fire and its effect on the Matong community is due to featured in the final episode of SBS TV documentary 'Struggle Street', to be broadcast on October 30.
The current series has been following people and families in Wagga and the Riverina as they battle drought, crime, homelessness and substance abuse.