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KENTLAND — The Kentland Town Council discussed several matters on Feb. 10 including the possibility of purchasing land for a park, refinancing the pool loan, and updating the employee handbook.

At a special meeting, which took place an hour before its regularly scheduled meeting, the council members went over their priorities to be addressed when updating the handbook.

“It hasn’t been updated in 20 years and we need to have everyone on the same page,” said Town Council President Mike Rowe.

The biggest concern from the board was regarding payroll and certain policies that need to be ironed out including what counts toward overtime hours.

When asked if they wanted to update the handbook or start over with a new one, Councilmember Debby Shufflebarger replied, “We need an entirely new handbook, there are a lot of things in it that are not obsolete.”

At the council’s regular meeting, Pat Mulligan asked for permission to tap into the town’s waterline going out to Batton’s Addition to use the water for agricultural purposes. Mulligan said he would cover all costs.

Town Attorney Pat Ryan informed Mulligan, that since that area is not in town limits he would need to get permission from the county’s Regional Water and Sewer District to tap into the town’s line.

In other news, Mike Davis reported that the fundraising drive for Batton’s Park had reached the $50,000 milestone for getting the Patronicity match, and the Opportunity Zone Task Force will be looking at applying for another fundraising match. Davis reported that more than $70,000 has been raised for the renovation of the park.

Also at the meeting, it was reported that the council will work on negotiating a price for the purchase of an empty lot at the corner of 4th Street and Allen for future use as a park.

The council voted to move forward to looking at ways to refinance the town’s municipal loan for the pool project.

After a brief discussion, the council approved the property tax abatement for Treasure Shop Too, even though it is no longer in business. The abatement has three years remaining. The council voted to accept the abatement because it was originally given to clean up an eyesore in town, which has been done.

Town Manager TJ Firkins reported that he is going to meet with Ken Smith to discuss applying for an additional round of the Community Crossings grant for the paving of town streets.

Also in other matters, Town Attorney Pat Ryan informed the council that this would be his final meeting and that Becky Goddard, who works for his law firm, would be taking over moving forward.

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