Congressmembers Brian Higgins (NY-27) and Louise Slaughter (NY-28) are joining forces to fight the proposed closing of the United States Postal Service (USPS) mail processing facility on William Street in Buffalo.
“The proposal to close the William Street facility would leave an indelible stamp on Western New York’s economy,” said Congressman Higgins. “It’s bad for working families and especially bad for local business and we are urging the Post Office to reconsider.”
“As someone who makes the drive between Buffalo and Rochester regularly, I can tell you that having our mail make that journey on a daily basis is foolish,” said Congresswoman Slaughter. “At risk is the certainty of next day mail that is vital for our local businesses which is one of the many reasons why we are asking the Post Office not to close the Williams Street facility.”
The USPS recently announced it will undertake a study of 252 mail processing centers nationwide to consider closings and consolidations. The Buffalo facility is among those on the list.
Higgins and Slaughter argue the closing would be a “job destroyer” not only for the 700 postal employees who would be displaced due to a closing, but the William Street closing would negatively impact thousands of businesses across Western New York that rely on next-day delivery.
Below is the text of the joint letter sent by Reps. Higgins & Slaughter:
October 4, 2011
Patrick R. Donahoe
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW
Washington D.C. 20260-3500
Dear Postmaster Donahoe,
In a letter dated September 15th 2011, the United States Postal Service announced that it would be performing an Area Mail Processing (AMP), feasibility study for the William Street facility in Buffalo NY. We write to express our strong concern of this review which may be the precursor to a closure of the William Street facility and the permanent dislocation of its more than 700 workers. This potential closure would be a job destroyer for Western New York.
The closure of the William Street facility would have an unprecedented impact on the economy of Western New York and would damage the community’s ability to compete both internationally and domestically. The William Street facility is geographically closer to both the sectional center facilities areas in Jamestown and Erie. The feasibility of maintaining the current next day functionality that is a staple of Western New York would be completely eliminated by moving processing to the Rochester facility. For those that rely on a consistent next day service for medication, Social Security checks, or other essential services, this closure would mean potential life threatening disruptions. Next day service is essential to international business and as one of the busiest northern border crossings into Canada, Buffalo is uniquely situated to facilitate international trade. Millions of pieces of mail are currently sorted at the William Street facility annually between the United States and Canada strengthening our economic ties and ensuring cross border business.
Western New York’s strong medical research facilities, banking, and manufacturing all rely on next day mail to maintain their edge and competitive advantage. Without the William Street facility operating, the immediate and long term economic health of our community would suffer. Buffalo is New York’s second largest city and has one of the largest volumes of mail of any sectional center facility. The closure of this facility would immediately and permanently create disruptions in service and that is unacceptable. The Postal Service has recently downsized the amount of processing plants from 675 to 508 nationwide. The efficiency gained by closing the William Street facility would be pale in comparison to the economic toll it would place on the families and businesses that rely on next day service.
We ask that the William Street office be taken off the list of facilities slated for a feasibility study and that you provide the families and businesses of Western New York with a strong signal of support ensuring that essential postal functionality will be maintained into the future.
BRIAN HIGGINS LOUISE M. SLAUGHTER
Member of Congress Member of Congress