by Jordan Green

Items from across the Triad and beyond

Water and sewer rate increase hits Winston-Salem

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utility Commission has approved a 9.75 percent increase in water and sewer rates, which will go into effect on Oct. 1.

A press release issued by the city of Winston- Salem indicated that the rate change will result in a net increase of $3.94 per month for the average household, which currently pays $30.16 for water and sewer. A typical fast-food restaurant will pay an additional $45.80 per month over the current amount of $411.32 and a typical industrial customer will pay $6,443 on top of the current bill of $65,925.

Utilities Director David Saunders said Winston- Salem still holds the lowest water and sewer rate among North Carolina’s largest cities, compared to $38.12 for the average household in Greensboro, $47.16 in Raleigh, $49.28 in Durham and $45.37 in Charlotte.

Saunders said the rate increases will allow the commission to increase debt service by $2.2 million to tackle outstanding debt of $496.8 million.

Capital projects that the increase will support include Tanglewood lift station improvements, Janita Lake outfall rehabilitation and rapairs at Idols Dam. — JG

Kellerman drops out, wins, reconsiders

After unofficially dropping out of the Democratic primary for District 6 County Commissioner and endorsing her opponent Dan Miller, Linda Kellerman was surprised to hear she won the election anyway. Elections board deputy director Charlie Collicutt said she never formally withdrew from the race, giving her the option of declining the nomination, withdrawing before the general election, or running against the Republican nominee in November. Kellerman said she and Miller would meet with the Guilford County Democratic Party to discuss their options. If Kellerman withdraws or declines the nomination, the party picks a replacement. Even though Miller was the only other Democratic candidate in the race, the party is not required to pick him, Collicutt said.

Kellerman initially said she planned to formally decline the nomination, saying Miller was well suited for the position.

“We share the same values and I think he would be the best person for the job,” she said. “I would do it for the party but I think Dan is well equipped to serve as commissioner.”

Kellerman’s daughter passed away recently and she said she underestimated the amount of stress it caused her. — EG