RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF CORRECTING THE RECENT UNAUTHORIZED MODIFICATION TO THE WELL ESTABLISHED IDENTIFICATION OF THE BELLEVILLE POST OFFICE THAT HAS EXISTED FOR THE RESIDENTS OF SUMPTER TOWNSHIP IN EXCESS OF ONE HUNDRED YEARS
WHEREAS, the Township of Sumpter (“Sumpter”) was established by the State of Michigan in 1840; and
WHEREAS, in 1874, a United States Post Office branch was located in Sumpter Township where it continued to exist for twenty eight (28) years and serviced its citizens on a regular basis; and
WHEREAS, on February 28, 1902, the Sumpter Township Post Office was closed and postal service consolidated as a rural free delivery zone in Belleville, Michigan; and
WHEREAS, since February 28, 1902, the Belleville Post office has continued to provide uninterrupted postal service to the citizens of Sumpter Township along with the City of Belleville and Township of Van Buren (collectively the “Belleville Post Office Service Area”); and
WHEREAS, this service was provided by the Belleville Post Office while facing an increase in population, regulatory requirements, and regarding other changes in service area needs; and
WHEREAS, the Belleville Post Office is essential to the successful operation of Sumpter Township government including but not limited to, providing public safety services, disseminating public information and notifications, conducting elections and public hearings, and offering other essential communication needs to the community; and
WHEREAS, since 1960, the Belleville Post Office Service Area was identified by using a zip code number of 48111; and
WHEREAS, since 1960, the Belleville Post Office has identified all mailing locations within the Belleville Post Office Service Area, including all residential, business and governmental buildings, as being located in Belleville, Michigan 48111 (“Identification”); and
WHEREAS, notwithstanding the growth in each community, the Identification established by the United States Postal Service in 1960 has resulted in exemplary service for the citizens and businesses located within the Belleville Post Office Service Area and specifically as to Sumpter Township; and
WHEREAS, for some unknown, unauthorized and unexplained reason, the United States Postal Service recently altered the Identification for the Belleville Post Office Service Area, and now identifies the service area as Van Buren, Michigan 48111; and
WHEREAS, based upon a November 27, 2015 study issued by Edward F. Phelan, Jr., Vice President of Delivery Operations (“Report”), the United States Postal Service establishes new zip codes or adjusts zip code boundaries on July 1st of each year and nothing in the report indicates authority or precedent to change the identification of a city, township or county without a corresponding change in the zip code; and
WHEREAS, the Report further indicates that all changes in zip code matters are preceded by a preliminary evaluation and analysis, discussions with interested parties, surveying of potentially affected customers, and a determination that the change is based upon a conclusion that any such change would result in more efficient mail processing and distribution services; and
WHEREAS, Sumpter Township having failed to locate any information indicating that a preliminary evaluation and/or survey was conducted by the Postal Service; and
WHEREAS, Sumpter Township having further been unable to locate a written statement by the United States Postal Service concluding that the modification was based upon providing a more efficient mail processing and distribution service; and
WHEREAS, instead of a more efficient mail service being provided to the community, the change in Identification has further caused substantial confusion in the Belleville Post Office Service area, has caused mail service to be suspended in some locations, has resulted in deliveries being made to improper locations or returned, and most importantly, has caused a community to begin to doubt the ability to rely upon future post office services; and
WHEREAS, based upon the aforesaid facts, the Sumpter Township elected officials are concerned that if the original Identification is not restored, the citizens of Sumpter Township will continue to suffer in that they will (i) be unable to locate and obtain timely governmental services; (ii) be disenfranchised due to the confusion about when, where, and in which elections they are entitled to vote; (iii) be unable to obtain public safety services; and (iv) be subject to the misdirected mail services including UPS and paid shipping services such as FedEx; and
WHEREAS, a 2006 CRS Report for Congress indicated that “problems for those citizens whose mailing addresses do not match their actual town or city residence” includes (i) higher automobile insurance rate, (ii) confusion as to where to vote in municipal elections, and (iii) emergency service vehicles being misdirected by confusion over the origin of an emergency call has all resulted in complaints and a reduction in services; and
WHEREAS, until the recent change in Identification and for the past one hundred years, the United States Postal Service has provided exemplary service to the citizens of Sumpter Township; and
WHEREAS, it would be in the best interest of the Belleville Post Office Service Area and particularly to the citizens of Sumpter Township, that the United States Postal Service District Manager restore the original Identification as provided for herein and that existed since 1960.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Sumpter Township hereby declares its desire to and officially requests that the United States Postal Service formally restore the Identification of the 48111 zip code area for the Belleville Post Office Service Area to the reference that has existed for decades which was previously known as and which should continue to be known as:
BELLEVILLE, MICHIGAN 48111
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Township of Sumpter hereby implores the United States Postal Service, that prior to a change in the Identification of mail service affecting Sumpter in any manner, the Postal Service notifies and discusses with Township officials, any such changes.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Township Supervisor or his designee is hereby empowered and directed to take all necessary steps to ensure that the action taken by the Township of Sumpter as set forth in this Resolution is presented and communicated to the appropriate regulatory agencies and the United States Postal Service District Manager.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Township Clerk shall forward a copy of this Resolution to the appropriate governmental agencies responsible for causing the restoration of the previous Identification and to immediately report to the Township Board of Trustees the receipt of any information or request by any such governmental agency.
Board of Trustees,
Yes: P. Morgan, Oddy, LaPorte, Swinson, Hurst, Barnes and J. Morgan
Esther Hurst, Clerk of Sumpter Township
I hereby certify that the foregoing resolution was adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Township of Sumpter at its regular meeting held on the 22nd day of May, 2018 at the Township Hall, Sumpter Township, Belleville, Michigan 48111.
Esther Hurst, Clerk of Sumpter Township