Albury Council is almost certain to provide some rate relief for residents battling job losses and other associated fallout from the coronavirus crisis.
But two councillors, Henk van de Ven and Darren Cameron, are publicly supporting a rate-freeze on residential and business rates and another, Murray King, is philosophically supportive, but says the move will come at a cost of some council services
"I would be in favour of some sort of rate freeze, but what that looks like is up to councillors to have some conversations about," he said.
"Whether it happens this financial year or next I don't really care."
The number of COVID-19 cases in Albury has grown to six since last Sunday with one person in hospital.
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Cr Cameron said he was personally supportive of a three-month rate freeze.
"I've had discussion with other councillors about this," he said.
"It will be a financial hit for council, but we have the reserves to make it work.
"It is the simplest and fairest way to help our ratepayers."
Albury chief executive Frank Zaknich confirmed council was prepared to look at options to ease hardship on residents.
"Council acknowledges that the circumstances we're in are changing rapidly and is very much open to considering other assistance and activation opportunities in support of state and federal initiatives already announced," he said.
"Our economic development team has been liaising with businesses to share resources and support services provided by governments, including details of the stimulus packages offered by the NSW and federal governments, and we'll continue to provide support to all affected as the situation develops.
"Over coming weeks we'll work with our councillors, businesses and the wider community to help to minimise the impact of the crisis as best we can and seek to identify measured and sustainable initiatives."
Cr King said his rate-relief backing was cautionary.
"I'm supportive of a rate freeze, but be mindful there will some sort of ramification from it down the track," he said.
"We have to deal with the situation as it presents itself right now, but be aware there might be service cuts."
Former Wodonga Council staffer turned whistle-blower Charlie Mitchell said Wodonga residents were also overdue for some support from its council.
"Wodonga Council deceived ratepayers for 10 years over $20 million," he said.
"Wodonga's mayor and senior management never fully apologised to their community for the under-handed rate gouging.
"It's time council used its financial reserves, tighten its belt and return $1000 per ratepayer."
Wodonga chief executive Mark Dixon said his council was continuing to work through all potential options and consulting with state and federal government about how it can jointly support businesses and the community.
"We want to ensure any support is targeted towards those in greatest need and we need to understand state and federal actions in order to see and cover any gaps," he said.
Meanwhile, Albury and Wodonga councils have shut outdoor play spaces across the two cities in the last 24 hours in the ongoing fight against coronavirus.
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