Cumberland releasing smartphone app for residents

CUMBERLAND — If Cumberland residents are looking for a simple way to make utility payments or find a local restaurant, there’s (about to be) an app for that.

On April 1, local officials are rolling out a new smartphone app, Cumberland Connected, that’s designed to give residents a go-to source for town business and recreation. Available for free download on Apple and Android devices, the app includes a local business directory, a calendar of upcoming events and contact information for town officials.

Local officials say they hope the app, which was approved by the town council last summer, will spur more engagement between residents and town employees and encourage residents to shop locally.

Renee Michael, communications and marketing director for the town, said updated information about projects the town is working on will also be posted to the app in an effort to keep residents informed.

The app is available for anyone to download, Michael said, adding that she thinks it could make residents in both Indianapolis and throughout Hancock County aware of what Cumberland has to offer.

“Hopefully it will make people more apt to reach outside their community to see what’s available here,” she said.

Riley McKay, who recently moved to Cumberland from Indianapolis, said she’s pleased to see the town making an effort to connect residents with local businesses.

Though McKay said she tries to support local shops, it’s not always easy to find them as a newcomer.

“This sounds like it could make it a lot easier to find those (places),” McKay said.

If users enable notifications from the app, it also will send alerts that warn residents of local emergencies or road closures.

Town manager April Fisher said many residents currently contact the town through Facebook, email and phone. Adding an app seems like a logical progression, she said.

“It’s nice to give people who want the technology the option of just accessing everything right there from your phone,” Fisher said.

Town council member Anna Pea said she plans to contact individuals from several local homeowners associations to encourage residents to use the app.

“The more people we can get to download and use the app, the more we can do with it,” Pea said.

After the app rolls out, town officials likely will add features to improve it, Pea said.

She’d like to see a function that would allow residents to file a police report or access an existing report, she added.

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Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or dmorgan@greenfieldreporter.com.