Buffalo Post Office Consolidation Far from Complete

March 8, 2012 Updated Mar 8, 2012 at 7:41 PM EDT

By WKBW News

March 8, 2012 Updated Mar 8, 2012 at 7:41 PM EDT

Buffalo (WKBW) With the busy election season approaching, the US Post Office is delaying its plan to consolidate many mail sorting facilities.

The Buffalo mail sorting facility on William Street was scheduled to be consolidated, with Buffalo mail processing being moved to Rochester. But with concerns over election mail, the Post Office is now making a commitment to not close any facilities before May or after August.

This means the window for potential consolidation is only three months. If the entire process of closing the Buffalo branch, and moving all mail to Rochester cannot be completed within that time frame, it would have to be delayed until 2013. Also, before any consolidation efforts can be moved forward, Congress must pass a law allowing a change in the service standards of mail delivery. That means the closer we get to election season, the better the chances are that the William Street facility will remain open for now.

Post Office Spokesperson Karen Mazurkiewicz spoke to Eyewitness News on Thursday.

"We are very sensitive to it being a political year, so the Postal Service is just trying to assure America and our citizens that we are cognizant of those concerns and have made some commitment to dates as far as consolidation timelines," she said.

Mazurkiewicz goes on to say that even if any consolidation is completed, all mail, including election mail, will be delivered on time.

So the window is narrow for the Buffalo branch's possible closure, because of the election year, and fully dependent on legislation, but is still a possibility as we get closer to the May 15th date set out by the Postal Service.