Postal Service suspends service at Filer City office

The Filer City Postal Location was officially suspended on Thursday, and remained so Monday. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

The Filer City Postal Location was officially suspended on Thursday, and remained so Monday. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

FILER CITY – The United States Postal Service has temporarily suspended services at its Filer City location, 711 Mee St.

The action is due to an eviction notice served early last month that T&B Market owner George Gielczyk said he rescinded less than two weeks later.

Postmaster Dahlia Stevens, of the Manistee Post Office, said she couldn’t comment on the matter but reported that details of extending the longtime lease are currently being discussed and a decision on the future of the Filer City office should be reached by Friday.

In the meantime, Filer City residents with post office boxes (the suspended location housed 56) may pick up their mail at the Manistee office, located at 35 Filer St., or use the Eastlake office, located at 298 First St., for other mailing purposes.

Gielczyk, who has rented the space to the USPS since taking ownership of the building in 1984, said he was under the impression that the parties had agreed to an increase in rent last summer. But after he continued to receive the monthly rate that had been paid previously, Gielczyk sent an eviction notice to the Manistee office on June 5.

“They agreed (to the raise in rent) last summer, but they never paid (the increase),” he said. “I did send an eviction notice to them, just to try to get them talking … but within two weeks I rescinded it.”

Although he wasn’t sent a final copy of the signed contract for his own records, Gielczyk said he dealt with a real estate agent for the postal service that he was later informed wasn’t the proper representative for the area.

“He was the wrong one to be working with me, apparently,” he said. “I found out last January that I’ve got to deal with some different people for the real estate.

“But last July, his name was on (the new contract), and his boss’s name was on there. … I signed the same thing and sent it back to him. He sent me a copy, but that page was missing. I can’t prove he agreed to it. I should have made a copy myself right away, but I trusted these people.”

On June 9, four days after Gielczyk sent the eviction notice, he said, Filer City postal customers were informed via letters in their postal boxes that, “Due to an unforeseen event,” services would be suspended as of July 3.

Despite Gielczyk’s claim of sending the rescinding order by mid-June, service at the Filer City office was officially suspended on Thursday, at which time Gielczyk was informed that a new proposal would be sent to him shortly.

“After they (closed), I got a call (Thursday afternoon) from another real estate (representative for the Postal Service) and he said he wants to get a proposal together and send it to me this week. … I guess that’s where it stands now,” he said.

George Gielczyk, owner of T&B Market of Filer City, stands outside his building on Monday, days after the United States Postal Service suspended its service at that location. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

George Gielczyk, owner of T&B Market of Filer City, stands outside his building on Monday, days after the United States Postal Service suspended its service at that location. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

Stevens said the Postal Service was acting on last month’s eviction notice, but echoed that a new lease is being discussed.

Filer Township supervisor Terry Walker said residents are already champing at the bit for a resolution.

“It’s up to the Postal Service to provide service, and that’s the key word: service,” Walker said. “Right now, Filer residents are not receiving good service, because they’re inconvenienced by having to drive into Manistee to pick up their mail.

“We have some people without vehicles, some elderly folks who don’t drive that now have to arrange rides to get their mail every day,” he added. “It’s not a good situation, and it all came down so quickly.

“From my perspective, the postal service basically launched into this without a plan in place. … They came to us with a request (last month) to put postal boxes in our Filer Township Park … (but) there’s just too many legal ramifications and liability issues with that that we don’t want to get involved with. And we informed them of that.”

Filer Township will hold its regular monthly board meeting tonight, starting at 6 p.m., and is slated to discuss a proposed Mode of Delivery Agreement from the USPS due to the recent emergency suspension.

The Postal Service’s Manistee office is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday, and 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. The Eastlake location is open 8 a.m. to noon on Monday through Friday and 8 to 9 a.m. on Saturday.

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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