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Town run partly by Indianapolis wants more say in its fate

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – A central Indiana town’s efforts to save a 100-year-old church are being stymied by a political divide created four decades ago.

The Town of Cumberland is appealing plans to demolish St. John United Church of Christ to make way for a convenience store and gas station. But Town Manager Andrew J. Klinger says its fate is largely out of the town’s control even though the property falls within its limits.

Cumberland straddles the Marion and Hancock county lines. It is a full-service town in Hancock County, but its Marion County side is overseen by Indianapolis under a system adopted in the 1970s.

Town officials say that allows Indianapolis officials to interpret its comprehensive plan.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Development Commission plans a hearing on the church proposal March 18.