2023 Municipal Budget

Norman Wells Town Council passed the 2023 Operational and Capital Budgets on December 6, 2022.

We need to remember the following:

  • The rate of inflation in Canada, you can find the Consumer Price Index as of June 2022 under Statistics Canada website, they never count the Territories but you can assume a 1% increase on the numbers they quote for us
  • Our lower population; in the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Norman Wells had a population of 673 living in 269 of its 404 total private dwellings, a change of -13.5% from its 2016 population of 778. Many of our grants, which are effectively transfer payments from the Feds are calculated on population, our new population numbers will now be used for our transfer payment calculations.

We have the benefit of a recent Census to inform us of our community make-up, some interesting data provided through the Census tells us the following:

  • Population decrease 2016-2021 of 13.5% or 778 to 673
  • Total of 404 private dwellings, 269 occupied
  • Median income after tax household income $122,000.00
  • Average after tax household income $138,000.00
  • Owner households: 120
  • Tenant households: 150
  • Average shelter costs per household: $1,700.00/month
  • 30 households spending greater than 30% salary on shelter costs
  • Our fastest and most consistent growing demographic immigrants

What is a budget:


A municipal budget is Council’s plan for the future of the community we serve. It is assumed that it is done so in a prudent, fiscally responsible manner.


In the formation of our draft budget presentation Administration takes the following into account:

  1. Cost of doing business: This is the cost of providing the services presently approved by council at a sustainable service level

2. Fixed costs: (Power, gas, heat, Bank service charges, Staff wages, employment contracts, employee policy, Contracted costs)

3. Trending costs: (Year to date costs, Comparison of year over year, Approximation of costs going forward given economic and political environment)

4. Council’s strategic vision: (Safety, Hiring and/or training local, Becoming an employer of choice)

5. Cost cutting where possible

6. Alternative funding and program models where possible

7. Funding sources: (Taxes, Fees, Transfer payments, Grants, Donations)

Our goal is a budget which clearly outlines the following:

  • The cost of doing business as we presently do so
  • The service level we are attempting to provide (product for investment)
  • Added value for investment made ie: staff satisfaction and retention and training for long term success
  • The resource investment in each department includes: Human resource, Financial resource, Time resource
  • Our existing and foreseeable limitations/constraints
  • Existing revenue streams and possible alternative revenue streams

Please note:


• Cumulative inflation 2019-2022 is over 13%
• In 2019 we were severely understaffed, we are now fully staffed in a relevant manner which has resulted in a visible ROI to the community in direct and added value
• Our existing employee policy dictates a annual cost of living increase, staff and council will take 3% this year, much lower than the 7.5% cost of living quoted at this time
• Alternative funding streams ie: quarry IORL
• Remote work, mentoring, skills inventory, project leads, cross departmental sharing
• Fund development plans for cultural centre
• Innovative approaches to programming, community input and community economic development
• Our enhanced role as not for profit facilitators

Please click the documents below to view the Final Budgets: