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South Sioux City closes 'unsafe and unfit' apartment complex with 280 code violations
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Scenic Park complex residents must leave

South Sioux City closes 'unsafe and unfit' apartment complex with 280 code violations

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SOUTH SIOUX CITY -- Citing the units as "unsafe and unfit for human occupancy," the city of South Sioux City ordered the closure Thursday of a two-building apartment complex.

The move forces an unknown number of residents to vacate the Scenic Park Apartments and find a new place to live within 30 days.

City inspectors said Tuesday they had found more than 280 safety code violations at the apartments, 809 and 909 E. Seventh St., over the past year. 

As word of the eviction moved among residents, Dolly Dean sat outside and pondered a difficult path ahead.

[More on South Sioux City: City tax bill for $100,000 home in South Sioux City to rise by $39.70 next year.]

Dean and her husband, James, said they had contacted some of the social services agencies the city suggested to locate new rental housing in their price range. So far, they didn't have any solid leads.

James Dean said he heard an agency worker suggest he try one of the shelters.

"I've lived in a shelter, I'm not going back," he said.

Assistant City Administrator Oscar Gomez said the apartments' owner is Lois Vogt, who operates the complex under LMG Properties LLC.

Vogt has been notified of the decision, which came out of the extended process that involved the city's Rental Inspection Board, legal department and code enforcement officials, Gomez said.

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"The mission of the South Sioux City Rental Inspection Board is to strive to maintain safe housing for tenants, and safe and livable neighborhoods for South Sioux City's residents," the city said in a news release.

The city is providing tenants with a list of a dozen metro agencies that could be of assistance. The list includes the American Red Cross, Center for Siouxland and Salvation Army. It also cites shelters such as The Gospel Mission, The Warming Shelter and The Crittenton Center.

Displaced residents also are encouraged to contact local churches and reminded that hotels may offer weekly or monthly rates.

City officials said they have had many meetings with the owner and its representatives regarding the safety code violations.

"To date, the buildings remain out of compliance," the news release said.

Editor's note: Due to incorrect information provided to The Journal, an earlier version of this story listed a shelter named Crossroads that no longer exists.

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