Welcome to Norman Wells

Mayor's Blog January 2017

January 01, 2017

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and is excited for what may come in 2017 - I know I am!

This is the inaugural posting of my revamped Mayor’s Blog – Keep checking back here to find out what new and exciting projects are on the way for our Town! I will also be updating you on ongoing projects, Council priorities and any important changes or updates that may arise.

I hope you enjoy.

Mayor Watson


As one of my first priorities as Mayor, I set out to see what we could do about accomplishing long overdue repairs and upgrades to our Town’s Infrastructure. Namely, water and waste water as well as our roads. These were identified as needing attention for decades. The sewer system infrastructure repairs/replacement was first recognized in the mid 1980’s! Several previous Mayor and Councils looked into hard surfacing of our roads as well.

I am proud to say that through the hard work and dedication of Council, 2016 saw the start of a mutli-phase project for chip sealing our roads. Through the use of Government Federal grants through the Small Communities Fund, the Town was able to acquire funding to cover 75% of this multi-million dollar project.

What is chip seal and why do we want to use it you may ask?

Chip seal is a road product that is very commonly used throughout the Canada and North America. It is produced by spraying a layer of asphalt emulsion onto the road surface followed immediately by a thin layer of fine rock aggregate. This is then compacted together with the excess aggregate swept away from the surface.

By using chip seal on our roads, we will be able to reduce our annual cost of dust suppression – which is currently sitting around $250,000 – and be able to redistribute this money to other important needs of the Town. This will not only be a financial gain for the Town but a health and safety one too. Other benefits of chip seal include more comfortable driving for residents as the seal provides increased skid resistance, an anti-glare surface during wet weather and increased reflective surface for night driving.

Phase I of this project saw 65,000 Square meters of chip seal used to complete 12 roads and 8 parking lots which total 7.39 km of roads. Phase II is set to be completed in the spring/summer of 2017.

The chip seal project was not the only project Council had on the books for 2016. Council and I kept Administration busy with work on the Sewer main Replacement and Rehabilitation, Waste Water Improvements of the Lift Station, Lagoon Upgrades and Improvements and a Water and Waste Water Infrastructure Assessment. All of these projects are either already in progress or are forecasted to start by the spring of 2019. These projects also all came with a total Federal Funding amount of just shy of $6 Million!

I would like to give a shout out to the Town Administration for working so hard on the applications for these grants, without the contributions of our other levels of Government, many of these projects would take much longer or not be possible at all.

The last project I want to mention today is one that I and Council take great pride in being able to bring to our Town. The Reel Youth Film Project is a 20-day program that gives young people living and working in Norman Wells the opportunity to create animated films, a youth and elder documentary as well as a tourism video. This program encourages and teaches technical skills of filmmaking and introduces participants into the arts sector. We were lucky to have this project come to Norman Wells in late November and I have heard great feedback on how positive this was for our Community.

You may have seen a CBC News article in late December featuring our Town and some of our Youth and Elders on this project! I could not have asked for better publicity for our Town, showing the importance of getting our youth engaged and involved in programs such as this and for showing how our Community is working on bringing together today’s youth with the wise knowledge of our elders. I am excited to see the final product and know that it will be a source of great pride for our Community for years to come.

My next blog will bring you updates on the Town’s finances including the Council Approved 2017 budget as well as let you know about our steps on creating a 10-year strategic plan for the Town. With so many changes all across the world, it is important and necessary for everyone to have a clear goal and understanding of what we want Norman Wells to look like for years to come. We may be small but we are mighty. Other news to watch for includes; the oilfield/pipeline situation, arena floor cementing project, swimming pool refurbishment and upgrade, Canol Trail cleanup and development and the Canyon Creek access road!

Infrastructure Canada Projects 2016


Program abbr.



Approved Date

Federal Contribution

Total Eligible Costs

Forcasted Construction Start Date

Forcasted Construction End Date

Sewer Main Replacement and Rehabilitation



Norman Wells






Waste Water Improvements - Lift Station



Norman Wells






Lagoon Upgrades and Improvements



Norman Wells






Water and Waste Water Infrastructure assessmemt


Drinking Water

Norman Wells






Town of Norman Wells Community Road Chipseal


Highways and Roads

Norman Wells







 2016 Town Funding Applications



Funding Amount

Fiscal Year

ITI Funding – Reel Youth Project



Children & Youth Resiliency Program



Clean Water & Wastewater Fund – Norman Wells Water Plant Upgrades




Clean Water & Wastewater Fund – Sewer main Replacement & Rehabilitation




Celebrate Canada 2017



Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program – pool renovation



United Way NWT Community Investment Fund – Youth/Elder Centre Coordinator



Small Communities Fund NWT – Road Chip Seal Project Phase II

$1,533,250.00 – Federal SCF Funding

$511,084.00 – Community Government


Small Communities Fund NWT – Road Chip Seal Project


$1,083,750.00 – Federal SCF Funding

$361,250.00 – Community Government