Vying for his third term as Ward 6 councillor, Martin Ring said that one of his key areas of attention will be in attracting industrial growth to the city.
This goal is directly tied to the increasingly prevalent infrastructure need that is gripping Prince Albert and most other municipalities across the country, he said.
“We definitely need to continue having infrastructure at the forefront of our talks with the provincial and the federal government,” he said.
Industrial growth is needed to help pay for the municipal share of whatever setup is configured, he said, noting that industrial land has a much greater tax rate than residential.
“Our cities to the south of us — Saskatoon and Regina — have enjoyed huge industrial growth and that’s where they can generate a lot more property tax dollars that can be used for infrastructure infill.”
City council’s role in attracting this growth is varied, he said, with one of the key areas of focus being the inviting nature of the city, so people can “have a look at what we’ve got, and really encourage them to make Prince Albert their base.”
Ring was born and raised in Prince Albert, raising two children in the city with wife Andrea.
“It’s been a great city to raise a family in, and it comes down to the facilities we have, whether it’s the sports and recreational facilities or the arts programs that we have in place,” he said.
Although there are occasional remarks at council chambers from some council members about lessening the municipal funding to these facilities, Ring said that he stands by these facilities.
Our cities to the south of us — Saskatoon and Regina — have enjoyed huge industrial growth and that’s where they can generate a lot more property tax dollars that can be used for infrastructure infill. - Ward 6 Coun. Martin Ring
“Those are all just huge, and I think we totally underestimate how much those are worth,” he said, noting that such facilities are key to attracting businessmen, doctors and various other people to the area, in addition to keeping those who already live here.
“Everything that I want is here,” he said. “I’ve got hockey I can go and watch, skiing, golf … we have all the facilities that really enhance our lifestyle, here, and they’re affordable.
“They need some funding from the municipal level to keep them affordable for most people, and if you were to privatize some of those it would probably put them out of reach.”
In addition to his role as councillor, Ring sits on several committees, including the Prince Albert Board of Police Commissioners, Prince Albert and District Planning Commission and many others.
One of the committees closest to his heart is the North Central Waste Management Corporation, which he’s proud to say is making progress on improving the city’s recycling program.
“Curbside recycling is on the horizon,” he said, adding that although a timeline has yet to be set his aim is for the program to be in place as soon as possible.
So far, no one else has announced their candidacy for Ward 6, an electoral area that makes up the city’s southeastern corner.
The civic election takes place on Oct. 24, with advance poll dates beginning to spring up on Oct. 10.