Niles Police will upgrade break room to kitchen for $110,000; expect partial grant

After 20 years without a true kitchen, the Niles Police Department will get a $110,000 kitchen upgrade courtesy of funds from the state and help from the village’s public works department to help keep the costs in check. .

According to Niles Deputy Police Chief Nick Zakula, the current kitchen is “not really a kitchen,” and more of a break room with a sink, refrigerator, microwave, toaster oven and three tables, and has been that way since the building opened in 2004. Per village documents, the renovations will put in a stove, oven, microwave, refrigerator, upright freezer, ice maker, kitchen base, cabinetry, overhead pendant lighting, undercabinet LED lighting, and vinyl tiling.

The village board approved a $63,000 contract with AGAE Contractors Inc. to renovate the kitchen at the April 23 board of trustees meeting. In an email sent from Niles Police Chief Luis Tigera to Village Manager Joe La Margo, Tigera requested the use of surplus funds from the department’s training room capital improvement project for the kitchen upgrade. He said the village would be able to get $60,000 reimbursed from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity grant and would need to cover the remaining cost. Tigera said he would use funds from the previous year’s budget to cover the cost of new appliances.

Zakula said the new kitchen will “allow staff to prepare healthy meal options as opposed to picking up fast food during their tour of duty. It will also offer some privacy for staff during their break/meal period.” He added that it is an important component of officer wellness.

The village is using $60,000 from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity grant to cover the expenses. The village board approved the purchase of new appliances from Abt Electronics for $6,557. The Public Works department will handle the electrical portion of the project at a cost of $40,000, for a total estimated village expenditure of just under $110,000. The board will need to approve the purchase of electrical materials at a future board of trustees meeting.