Wagga City Council will recover quickly from the blow to its finances from the coronavirus, according to the council's general manager.
The council forecast balancing its $175 million budget for the 2019-20 financial period, but has since fallen short by almost $2 million after the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on its revenue streams.
A further $4.4 million deficit is forecast for the next financial year.
General manager Peter Thompson said slashing council-run services would improve the bottom line, however, he did not believe this was the right course of action.
While admitting it was "a bold statement", he said the city will be back to balanced budgets much sooner than many might expect.
"If we manage emergence from this well, and there is no second wave, I am not expecting to have much more of an impact for much more than next financial year," he said.
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Mr Thompson said it was not too long ago when the council was on track for delivering a balanced budget.
He said deficits were admittedly by choice because the council made the decision to freeze some fees and charges, like most regional councils, to support struggling businesses during the pandemic.
This decision, however, did come at a cost with the biggest burden undoubtedly the airport, which is one of its most expensive assets to operate without income streams.
Mr Thompson said every time the airlines sell a ticket, a small portion goes back to the council to pay for the airport service. But, the council waived this charge for the airlines.
Although it was not a big gesture to the airlines with minimal aircrafts flying to and from Wagga, Mr Thompson said the burden is expected to hit hard next year.
"We will look to continue to do that because we want the airlines to be stable and we want to support them," he said.
"So even when they start flying again our budget is proposing that once the government assistance stops we will support them until they are stable."
Another significant hit to the budget came from a downturn in investment, Mr Thompson said.
"When the sharemarket crashes, we, like everyone else, take a hit, so that is another reason for the loss," he said.
Despite the financial blow, Mr Thompson said the council needs to continue looking forward because the city was in a "fantastic position".
Projects such as the active travel plan, upgrades of Farrer Road and Eunony Bridge, as well as the special activation precinct were initiatives Mr Thompson said the council must continue to push, so long as it is fiscally responsible.