LAKE Macquarie City Council has deferred a decision on raising the annual lease fees on halls for community services in the area.
At last week's council meeting, councillors discussed the proposed hikes for community organisations and childcare centres.
Some organisations have said the rise would harm their operations.
Initially, councillors agreed that the recommendation be carried with Cr Laurie Coghlan's amendment of a staged introduction for the Scouts and Guides groups affected.
They include Belmont North, Cardiff, Swansea, Valentine and Windale, which are set to be dealt a raise from $1 a year to $1000.
Cr Barney Langford questioned why Toronto Girl Guides was singled out, as the only group to pay $664.25 a year above the $1 benchmark on the existing model for Scouts and Guides. But it went unanswered.
At the committee's discussion, mayor Jodie Harrison said there would be a speaker on the matter during public access at the next meeting.
Cr Andrew Denton moved for the matter to be deferred until then, and Cr Kay Fraser seconded this.
Cr Coghlan withdrew his initial amendment.
Cr Denton said he was still "torn" on the issue.
"I've got some grave concerns on the big hikes for community centres," he said.
"Some of them live on shoestrings."
He said he had little worry about the childcare centres, whose increases were not as significant.
Cr Daniel Wallace proposed a "hardship fund" be created as a borrowing system to help struggling community organisations.