Relief Coming For Severe Archer Flood Area

GAINESVILLE, Florida (WCJB) After several starts and stops and years of complaints, a 250-thousand dollar water quality and flood mitigation project in Archer is set to start on Friday.
People who live in the affected area have a lot to say about the floods they've been dealing with for more than a decade.

When the Holly Hills neighborhood in Archer floods, it floods a lot.
Arnold Hickey lives right next to the flood zone and has had water reach the edge of his home... his neighbors have had it up to their front doors. "Back over here it floods about 40 or so yards up the street over there, this house is flooded out yeah its pretty bad."
Landon Harrar reported for Tv20 "Neighbors in the area have told me anytime it rains heavily, well this road behind me floods so badly that they can't even drive their cars up and down the road until it recedes."
Hickey went on to explain the severity of the problem "You can't drive, when it floods you can't drive through it, the waters too high its probably up to your waist so you can't probably past your waist really."
Now city officials have a 50-50 grant match of 124-thousand dollars from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Although the city of Archer will only need to find 41-thousand dollars as the remaining 83-thousand is coming from the Suwannee River Water Management District.
Archer's Interim City Manager Joe Helfenberger says fixing this problem is important because "The quality of life without having to worry about flooding of structures is huge. Without this type of project it gets to be a constant battle with every time you have a high water event and this taking that away allows the community to prosper."
The project is set to not only stop flooding, but also to stop stormwater from seeping into the aquifer directly under this area.
Helfenerger said "Protecting our aquifer here is critical, we have very high quality water and drinking water and this goes a long way into preserving that for the Holly Hills neighborhood."
Helfenberger could not give a projected end date for the project, saying he is still getting up to speed on many projects as he has only been the interim city manager for a month.