William Street Post Office Safe, Airbase Stays Open

May 11, 2012 Updated May 11, 2012 at 3:18 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

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May 11, 2012 Updated May 11, 2012 at 3:18 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) Somehow the 50 year old post office on William Street in Buffalo found itself on a list of more than 200 mail processing facilities across the nation slated for consolidation, its mail processing work scheduled to be transferred to Rochester.

"The William Street processing facility is the point of entry for all mail coming in from Canada to the United States, they process 60 million pieces of mail every single week. That's an important strategic point that distinguishes Buffalo in this whole portfolio of mail processing facilities," said Representative Brian Higgins D- NY.

But, Buffalo isn't your average mail operation and the post master general met his match in the more than 700 employees who work at William Street and the strong backing of political leaders like Higgins and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.

After months of negotiations Schumer announced Thursday he'd reached a deal with the postmaster to keep the plant open for at least the next three years.

"We are going to have to have some cutbacks to get the postal service back in the black. But cutbacks that are dumb, that make no sense and would reduce mail use shouldn't be the ones on the table," said Senator Schumer.

Higgins says the work has already started to explore ways to invest in the plant, making it state of the art to ensure it stays open for good.

Results from an independent investigation into the proposed closing by the Inspector General's office should be completed in the next month.

Another sigh of relief in Niagara Falls...

"We've heard some good news, the House has pushed forward a bill to restore a large number C-130's with the air national guard and manpower and the money to go along with this," said Colonel Jim McCready, Commander of the 107th Airlift Wing.

Which means more than 800 jobs with the 107th will be preserved at least for the next year.

But what happens after the upcoming election remains to be seen. New York State has more air guard bases than any other state in the nation..

"If we didn't get this language in this bill, we would not be in a good position to protect those jobs and those missions," said Congresswoman Kathy Hochul, D-NY.