A city worker found water inside the meter box at a home in northeast Tracy. The home was occupied by an older couple whose son was putting all his effort and resources into saving the family’s restaurant during our current pandemic. Tracy Public Works employees Yohandrys Aguilar and Tommy Krieger were instrumental in helping identify the issue and narrow the area of in need of repair.
When Public Works Director Don Scholl spoke with the family and discovered their situation, he emailed JustServe.org hoping for some help. Two faith groups responded. Wes Huffman, from the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Ron Pepperman, from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, working together, began gathering skilled neighbors with the time, tools and talents to make the repairs.
Starting at 7 a.m. on a Friday, Glen Vincent began cutting a 2-foot by 4-foot concrete area and breaking it into smaller pieces with help from Mitch Pino and Pepperman. Within an hour, the leak, located just a few inches below the concrete, was repaired and the water line reopened.
As luck would have it, a second leak appeared from farther down into the famously sticky clay of Tracy. What followed was another hour of expanding the hole’s depth, another trip to get more parts, more cutting and gluing repairs, and more hope that this time the problem was solved.
The second fix proved successful. After an hour or so to dry up the water and mud in the hole, Dallin Loder began the patching work. Loder and Pepperman shoveled the clay and dirt back in, compacted it, put in a new meter box provided by the city, and then connected rebar donated by Huffman to the existing concrete. Three bags of concrete were mixed, put into the remaining hole and troweled to get a finished surface.
By 6 p.m., the site was cleaned up and everyone headed for home.
In the end, it was just good neighbors helping each other. It’s why we feel good about Tracy.