City seeks to increase security at Hjemkomst Center

Moorhead City Council

Nancy Edmonds Hanson

The Moorhead City Council is seeking funds for cameras to counter growing problems at the Hjemkomst Center.
Parks and Recreation director Holly Heitkamp told the governing board that a growing number of incidents of theft, vandalism and confrontations with “unruly individuals” has spurred the search for ways to make the city-owned facility and grounds more secure. “Most recently, windows were smashed two staff members’ cars parked outside last Friday,” she said.
Her department manages the building and grounds, where its offices are located. The center is also home to the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County’s museum and offices, the F-M Community Theatre, and several city departments that relocated there after the departure of the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce in 2023.
“After a string of incidents, our staff did a number of walk-throughs with Moorhead Police captain Deric Swenson to identify ways to make the building more secure,” the director said. The Hjemkomst was outfitted with card access on its exterior doors and motion sensors monitored round the clock in 2024, she noted, but added, “The hope is that visible security cameras will help deter individuals looking to do harm and help law enforcement identify suspects if a crime is committed.”
The camera system, with 27 units to be installed pl throughout the building and grounds, is estimated to cost almost $84,000.
HCSCC director Maureen Kelly Jonason has recommended the city – as the building’s owner – apply to the Minnesota Historical Society for a grant through the state’s Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Fund. The request, totaling $63,579 – if granted – will be matched by $20,000 from the city’s capital improvement fund.

Garden grants awarded
Three public community gardens were approved by the council Monday to receive grants of $500 to be used for seeds, fertilizer and weed control, soil preparation and other costs. The $500 grants are part of the Onward Moorhead Comprehensive Plan’s goal to “support individual and community projects such as native landscapes, rain gardens, local food production, and pollinators.”
The recipients include Minnesota State University Moorhead, where a new garden is being established; PRAIRIE Community Garden at 2635 30th Ave. S.; and Grateful Community Garden, which has been in operation at 2900 Fifth St. S. for seven years.

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