Watertown's Mercy of Northern New York is postponing its closure for three weeks.

That's according a "Notice of Closing" letter sent from Mercy's administrator to city Mayor Jeff Graham on Tuesday.

The health care facility was expected to shut down permanently between February 7 and February 20.

All 240 of its employees were to be laid off at that time.

However, the closure and layoffs will now occur between March 1 and March 14.

"The reason for the postponement is that we are awaiting approval by a New York state agency," the letter states.

Federal law requires this kind of notification for municipalities whenever there is a facility shutting down that will result in significant job cuts.