The 2019-2020 fiscal year, which ends on June 30, 2020, is now more than half gone, and the Martin City Council appears to be operating with a deficit of around $64,000.

That’s according to a copy of a check register that was provided to city council members for the city’s Jan. 28 meeting.

The check register was not discussed or approved, however, by the council on Tuesday, as has been the case for nearly the entire fiscal year.

Martin is required to operate on its 2018-2019 budget because it did not approve a budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Because of the failure of council members to approve bills in the city and because of the city’s repeated refusals to turn over financial records, it’s difficult to determine whether the city is actually operating on last year’s budget.

According to meeting recordings and records maintained by the Floyd County Chronicle and Times, as of Jan. 28, the Martin City Council has not approved bills during the past 11 of 12 meetings scheduled.

Meetings were cancelled because of lack of a quorum in March, May, July, October and December 2019. Bills were also not approved during meetings in April, June, September and Nov. 2019 or this month, when they weren’t even discussed.

Since March 2019, the city council has only approved bills once — in August 2019, when the council approved bills for May, June and July 2019.

At that meeting, officials only provided a copy of the July check register to the newspaper. It showed Martin had a deficit of $15,725 that month.

Although the city council did not discuss or approve bills on Jan. 28, the unapproved check register (provided by a council member to the newspaper) shows a deficit more than $64,000 as of Dec. 31. An official also reported that city police officers have been required to buy gasoline for police cars, but city council members would not comment publicly after Tuesday’s meeting.

The Profit/loss documents provided after the meeting shows city received $61,000 in income and spent $51,241 in December 2019, resulting in a net income of $9,850 for the month.

The check register presented to council members showed the city paid Mayor Sam Howell $2,331 for supplies on Dec. 21. There was no mention of that reimbursement at the meeting. The reimbursement has not been approved by the city council.

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