The City of Greater Geraldton seems unlikely to go ahead with the purchase of the three “superblock” properties between Marine Terrace, Fitzgerald Street and Lester Avenue in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Councillors will discuss a much-reduced budget for the City of Greater Geraldton when they meet this afternoon. In a late agenda item, chief executive Ross McKim noted that none of the Federal and State financial incentives to cope with the pandemic’s economic effects covered local government services. Council is therefore faced with the unhappy alternatives of either reducing those services in line with a much reduced income, or start spending the City reserve fund. “The City has finite cash reserves to manage the current pandemic,” Mr McKim wrote. He recommended councillors formally request him to prepare a draft budget that includes a freeze on rates, and a freeze on fees and charges. A raft of other possible measures Mr McKim recommended included extending the rates payment period and waiving interest and payment charges for rates, as well as reduced spending on various items. “It is clear to officers that no rate rise or rise in fees and charges would be accepted by the community at this time,” he wrote. He said the purpose of his report was to seek a statement from Council that could be put out to the community ahead of next year’s budget. The budget itself is due to be passed in June.