Battle Over Potential Post Office Closure

January 19, 2012 Updated Jan 19, 2012 at 6:44 PM EDT

By WKBW News

January 19, 2012 Updated Jan 19, 2012 at 6:44 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) The William Street mail sorting facility could soon close its doors for good, if the US Postal Service decides to consolidate it with a Rochester branch.

Karen Mazurkiewicz is the Western New York Spokesperson for the US Postal Service.

"This is just a proposal. Nothing has been finalized. We are still taking public comments through Friday the 20th," she said.

On Thursday, Congressman Brian Higgins met with local business leaders to protest the potential closure.

"The US Postal Service should not be closing the facility, they should be holding it up as a national model," Higgins said.

"We're looking at serious damage to the private sector here in Buffalo in the printing and mailing industry," local printer Stephen Zenger of the Zenger Group said.

The US Post Office is currently 5 billion dollars in debt according to a spokesperson, and now more than 250 locations nationwide are now on the chopping block. If the William Street location is closed, it would save the Post Office $29 million per year.

A Post Office spokesperson went on to say that none of the nearly 700 people that work at the facility would laid off if it was closed. But for Higgins and local businesses that rely on the mail, that's not good enough.

"I believe that mail service providers like DXO Communications represent the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mail and the number of jobs impacted by the mail industry," Dan Bailey of DXO Communications.

"We would have to reconsider our printing and mailing options and more than likely we would have to move them closer to the processing center in Rochester, which means taking our printing out of Buffalo and our publishing out of Lackawanna," Jack Connors, publisher of Business First Magazine said.

Congressman Higgins went on to say, "This fight is not concluding, it is just beginning."