Niagara Fall, N.Y. (WKBW) - Nearly 400 civilian workers with the 914th Airlift Wing at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station will be furloughed once a week for eleven weeks beginning in July.
The base will shut down every Monday because of these furlough days. This comes after Federal budge cuts forced the Pentagon to furlough workers across the country.
Business owners said it would be devastating to the entire area. Base officials said it could be worse. For years, there have been threats of base closure. That hasn't happened yet, but workers will see some time away from their job.
As for business owners, they have to wait it out. They predict they will make a lot less money than planned this summer. These people also said these furloughs could be the first step in the closure process for the base.
"That's going to be a really tough situation. It's not only going to hurt me, it's going to hurt everybody. Probably about 30 percent of my business comes from base. I've been worried about the base for 42 years and they keep saying it's going to go. Waitresses are not going to make as much, I'm not going to make as much but we just have to tighten our belts and hope this thing gets over with quicker than it came," Business Owner Jimmy Richner said.
The base employs about 3500 full and part time employees. These furloughs will affect those workers who were not forced to take time off. Those employees will see a lot more on their plate.