NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- Niagara County Legislators are taking measures to protect the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station from being one of the many set to close nationwide due to defense cuts included in President Obama's $527 billion budget for 2014.
Lawmakers announced Wednesday that they've hired the Principi Group, a consulting firm that works to protect military bases from budget cuts, in an effort to prevent the region from losing more than 3,000 workers.
"What we feel we need is some really good, strong, high visibility, very well-connected people in Washington and also in Albany to not only look at new missions to help fortify the base but protect the assets of the missions that are there," said Niagara County Legislator David Godfrey.
The group is funded by the $2.9 million grant Governor Cuomo awarded statewide to protect military bases last year, he said.
Godfrey expressed optimism about the future of the base, noting that its location is an advantage to the military. He said the FBI and U.S. Border Patrol are interested in occupying the base.
"I believe the more that we build that base, growing those assets, bringing in tenants - that could truly be a nerve center for all of Western New York and this part of the country," Godfrey said.