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Wood County says Naik companies delinquent with fire fees

PARKERSBURG — The owners of companies involved in the 2017 IEI Plastics fire are at the top of a list of companies that have not kept up with payments of the Wood County Fire Fee.

On Thursday, the Wood County Commission released a list of the Top 10 Highest Unpaid Fire Fees from 2016 to 2020.

The county passed the fee to help local volunteer fire departments with funding for new equipment, pay bills and other related expenses.

In the top two spots were Surnaik Holdings of WV LLC and Evergreen Holdings LLC with $23,742.90 and $9,356.04 owed respectively from each.

Both companies, with a shared address in Maryland, are owned by the Naik family who owned the former Ames plant in Parkersburg, called IEI (Intercontinental Export Import), where a large scale fire occurred in late 2017 which burned for a week and required the efforts of almost 40 area fire departments to put out. At the time, the facility was used to store various materials, including plastics.

The Naiks’ attorney Michael Hissam could not be reached for comment via e-mail. Naik properties representative Sunny Naik could not be reached for comment. An automated message for a phone number for Naik said the voice mailbox was full and could not accept any new messages.

Others on the list include Ohio Valley College Inc. of Vienna for $9,247.91; Sams Real Estate Business of Vienna for $7,920; Parkersburg Ind. Warehouse Co., of Wilmington, Del., for $7,253.46; ACT Rentals Inc. of Vienna for $5,963.03; Silicon Processors Inc. of Marietta for $4,011.16; Camy LLC of Williamstown for $3,794; Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise LLC of Atlanta, Ga., for $3,600; and Parkersburg Towne Center Parkersburg WV Limited Ptnship of Coppell, Tx., for $3,327.30.

The commission is expected to send those with delinquent fees a certified letter, requesting payment and to make sure they are aware of their deficiency, Commission President Blair Couch said.

Officials with the fire board are expected to appear before the commission next week to discuss a number of issues, including the makeup of their board and other concerns.

In other business, the commission discussed an apparent downward trend in the number of COVID-19 cases, which appears to be down 46 percent in new infections, Couch said.

Officials credit the trend with the holidays being over and people not gathering together like they were. They will continue to keep their eyes on the trends as in-person learning is back in place for area schools with students doing face-to-face learning.

“The nationwide trends seem to have been decreasing for a week,” Couch said. “The peak was about a week ago.

“However, hospitalizations are still high. We will see where the trends are in another week or so.”

Officials said local hospitalizations for COVID are still high.

The area is continuing vaccinations for people 80-years-old and above as well as first responders, officials said.

The commission also discussed a number of local contractors who are not getting the necessary building permits.

“This is like a game with them to escape payment,” said County Administrator Marty Seufer.

People are undervaluing jobs to get out of the permit process.

“They are trying to get around it,” Seufer said.

Couch suggested the county should contact the state about their licenses being pulled for non-payment.

“If you fail to pay, we will contact the state,” Couch said.

The county will be sending out letters informing local contractors of their planned actions.

The commission also approved the placement of Bernard Cothern to the West Virginia Little Kanawha River Parkway Authority. He has served on the Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department for many years.

Contact Brett Dunlap at bdunlap@newsandsentinel.com

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