No one appreciates cost increases, but in this instance the benefits of a joint Alpena city-county project to extend fiber from the city limits along M-32 to the Alpena Regional Airport outweigh the cost overrun from the original estimate.
Ultimately, the rewards to the region for having that fiber already in place and available could far outweigh the initial investment, even with the additional $16,500 it meant each for city and county officials.
Ask any economic developer, community planner or prospective business owner what makes some property more attractive than others, and they will quickly tell you it is things like tax rates, utility options and the infrastructure that already is in place.
In today's competitive marketplace, options like fiber that at one time might have seemed a luxury, are rather a necessity. Without it, developers will quickly look away in evaluating their options of where to locate.
With the possibility of unmanned aircraft development and research facilities locating in Alpena, the fiber at the airport is even more important than ever before.
We need to do everything we can to remain competitive, relevant and interesting to prospective developers.
By approving the expenditure this week, council agreed the investment was money well spent for the region's future.