Finance chiefs at Swansea Council have been submitting monthly claims for lost income during the coronavirus lockdown, but won't know until the end of the year if the authority is out of pocket.
Council leader Rob Stewart said he expected to get most of the missing millions back from the Welsh Government, while chief executive Phil Roberts acknowledged that some decisions made locally might have to be funded locally.
Mr Roberts said he had some sympathy with the Welsh Government, which was assessing claims from all councils and spending a lot of money to support businesses, but he added: "What we have done primarily is implement Welsh Government policy on the ground."
The council has earmarked £100 million to deal with Covid-19, but the final figure won't be known for a while.
It also shelled out £15 million for the field hospital at Bay Studios, Fabian Way, but has now recouped that sum from Swansea Bay University Health Board.
Speaking at a council scrutiny meeting, Cllr Stewart said the authority had reclaimed some other coronavirus-related outlay via grants.
On lost income for things like car parks, he said, chief finance officer Ben Smith was submitting regular claims.
"There is a process where you go through a review with Welsh Government officials and they either accept or reject your claims," said the Swansea Labour leader.
The arrangement was different, he said, in England where councils might have to cover a certain percentage of lost income with the UK Government subsidising the rest.
"We are not in that game yet with the Welsh Government," said Cllr Stewart.
"We are continuing to go through the process. I guess until we get to the end of the year we won't know exactly what we have had back compared to what we'd expected."
Some missing income, he added, was deferred rather than lost.
Swansea Council is topping up the wages of furloughed staff employed by a company which runs leisure centres in the city.
Freedom Leisure took over the running of the LC and a number of other council-owned leisure centres in 2018, partly to save the council money.
Income has been decimated by the coronavirus lockdown, and furloughed Freedom Leisure staff have had 80% of their wages paid for by the UK Government.
A council scrutiny meeting heard the council was topping up the remaining 20%.
Cllr Chris Holley said he was worried the council might be setting a precedent for other companies to apply to the council for additional support.
Council leader Rob Stewart said many of Freedom Leisure's staff in Swansea were previously council employees, and that topping up furloughed wages was an "important part of our principle of trying to ensure that nobody loses out during the Covid period".
Other financial support for not-for-profit Freedom Leisure is being considered.
Cllr Stewart said: "I think what we have come to is a deal which ensures, as best as we can, that Freedom Leisure are stable long term so that they continue to run leisure centres for us and provide the services they are contracted to do."
The meeting also heard that the council owned a lot of city centre properties - a legacy of rebuilding after the Three Nights Blitz in 1941 - which was another lost income discussion point with Welsh Government officials.
Committee chairman, Cllr Peter Black, asked if the Welsh Government had sufficient financial resources to reimburse councils.
"There are no direct indications," replied chief executive Mr Roberts.
"But what we have been very clear about is how much it is costing local Government."
Swansea Council's financial position at the end of March this year was £18 million better than expected, with £5 million of that a health board payment for disputed care costs.
Cllr Stewart also said that around 90% of city centre businesses had re-opened, although 75% of hospitality businesses were remaining closed until they could reopen indoors on August 3, assuming coronavirus cases stayed low.
He added that First Cymru was currently operating around 45% of its bus network, with passenger numbers only 20% compared to normal.
He expected these numbers would rise when face masks on public transport become mandatory in Wales on July 27.