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Complex managers recognized

July 11, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

When Virginia "Ginny" Weir moved into an apartment at Hopewell Manor in 1983, she was a single mother looking for a nice place for her and her two teenage sons.

The first resident of the complex just north of Williamsport, Weir became resident manager four years later - a position she still holds and for which she was recently honored.

Weir and Richard Loudin, maintenance manager, both were recently recognized by U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-6th, and Marlene Elliott, USDA Rural Development state director, for their work at the Pepperbush Circle complex.

Both are employed by Case Edwards Management Company based in Annapolis to manage the federally-financed property with 64 units.

"We are not Section 8 but financed through Rural Development," Weir said, noting she refers a lot of calls from people with no income to other agencies.

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Each year, Rural Development recognizes a site manager that makes sure the day-to-day operations go smoothly. Nominations are submitted by the tenants of the property and are rated on the level of tenant satisfaction, curb appeal of the manager's property as well as consistently doing more than the job requires.

For Weir, her feeling of fulfillment comes from being able to offer good housing to people, not winning awards.

"Before I came here, I was the manager at the Tortuga," Weir said. "I was running a lot and I took this job so there would be less running."

Nestled in a rural setting, the complex consists of Hopewell Manor I and II, each of which has 32 units. One-bedroom units start at $477 while two-bedroom units can go up to $705 a month.

"Residents pay their utilities," she said. "We furnish cold water and trash pickup as well as blinds, carpet and all appliances."

Other perks include a playground for children and all maintenance duties performed by Loudin including snow removal, mowing as well as preparing apartments for new tenants moving in.

"We get few maintenance calls because we do inspections twice a year which helps us spot potential problems," Weir said.

While it is a no-pet property, there are some exceptions including service animals for handicapped residents. Some elderly residents and those who live alone are allowed pets, Weir said.

There is a waiting list ... always.

A Hagerstown native, Weir said she worked three jobs at one time to get her one son, Tony Wagaman, through college. Married with a stepdaughter, he now works at Mack Trucks.

Her other son, Christopher Wagaman, lives and works in California.

No stranger to awards, Weir was feted in 1995 when Hopewell Manor was named Property of the Year; and as Maryland's multifamily housing development; and then when a resident nominated her for Washington County's Most Wonderful Citizen award.

Loudin's award was a first this year.

Hopewell Manor has some of the best tenants, Weir said, noting you never see the police being called to the complex for fighting, drugs or loud music.

"Just a hint of drugs or other violations and they are gone," Weir said. "People who stay here appreciate that."

At the presentation of the awards, Elliott added, "Both Ginny and Richard are deserving of this award that was documented so well in the glowing nominations that were received from the tenants."

To Weir, it's all about doing what's best for the residents.

"There are two tenants who have been here since 1985 but I still hold the record," Weir said.

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