Tinley Park, IL – In an effort to  assure the long-term viability of the community and improve the safety of its older buildings, the village of Tinley Park offers its Downtown Tinley Grant Program to help achieve a signature downtown to benefit all who use it.

Part of this program, launched in 2018, is the Code Compliance Grant. Its primary purpose is to incentivize property owners of older buildings to install fire protection systems, such as fire alarms and fire sprinklers, and to meet accessibility code requirements.  The program offers property owners a matching grant of 50 percent of the cost to make these improvements up to a maximum of $35,000.  Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, depending on available funds and grantee eligibility. Since the program rolled out, the Village has awarded a total of seven code compliant grants totaling $172,752 in assistance.

This program aims to improve the safety of downtown Tinley Park buildings that were built before 2007. In addition to life safety, the benefits of increasing built-in fire protection and meeting accessibility code requirements includes higher property values and enhanced economic viability of older downtown structures.

Priscilla Cordero who was the Tinley Park Business Development Manager at the time the program was implemented is proud of the program. “Number one, it shows that the village is committed to life-safety issues and keeping our businesses healthy and our residents safe,” she says, noting that Tinley Park is business-friendly. Cordero points out that in many towns and cities, older buildings that are not in compliance may have a requirement to be updated with the owner needing to pay for it fully out of pocket. “In Tinley Park, we’re helping,” she says.

According to Tinley Park  Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention Dan Riordan, this grant has great potential to improve public safety.

“In addition to life safety, one of the reasons for promoting fire sprinkler protection is because the buildings are so close together,” Riordan says, underscoring the value of installed automatic sprinklers included in the Code Compliance Grant funding opportunity. “When downtown areas were put together a hundred years ago or so, everything had to be close together. That’s just the way it was. So a fire in a building that gets out of control could easily spread to a building next to it. That could affect not only the building where the fire is but also the building next door as well.”

To be eligible, applicants must be located along a public street in the Tinley Park Legacy District. This grant is only for code compliance improvements; related design costs are not eligible for funds. Information and applications materials are available on Tinley Park’s website.

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