Saturday, November 05, 2022


Corporate welfare?  So now County "incentive" recipient WAYNE ROBISON returns the favor? 

You tell me.

WAYNE ROBISON is frontman for Senator TRAVIS J. HUTSON's new Political Action Committee and its half million dollar effort effort to euchre taxpayers into raising their sales taxes by $500 million. You've probably received one of his e-mails today.  

ROBISON received a $129,238 subsidy for his oligopolistic RULON INTERNATIONAL, of which he is CEO and owner.  

Read the County's RULON INTERNATIONAL incentive or corporate welfare contract here.  

It even includes "expedited permitting."

Watch video here (item 1), May 15, 2018 Board of County Commmissioners meeting.

Chairman Henry Dean gave ROBISON more than three minutes, without explanation, telling ROBISON, "I love you like a brother," joking about ROBISON's singing skills.

Chairman Dean has called in one of his friends and fellow party members to support the developer puppets' WHITEHURST-HUTSON 15% SALES TAX INCREASE.

But as JFK said, "Sometimes party loyalty demands too much."

From Jacksonville Daily Record:


Rulon International to expand, hire 20 additional workers

The St. Johns County Commission awards company that makes acoustic ceilings and wood wall panels $129,000 in incentives.

By Larry Hannan, Contributing Writer

A company that makes acoustic ceilings and wood wall panels will hire 20 more employees after the St. Johns County Commission unanimously approved a $129,000 economic incentive package that will allow it to expand.

Rulon International President and CEO Wayne Robison

The incentive package, approved Tuesday, will allow Rulon International to construct a 27,000-square-foot addition to its 85,000-square-foot office and manufacturing building at 2000 Ring Way in the World Commerce Center in St. Augustine.

The company moved from Pennsylvania to St. Johns County in 2006. President and CEO Wayne Robison said his company had between 60 and 70 employees when it arrived in St. Augustine and has seen significant growth during its time in Florida. 

“We expect to keep growing,” Robison told the county commissioners before the economic incentive package was approved.

The company employs 139 people in St. Johns County and will add 20 with the expansion, said Melissa Glasgow, director of economic development for St. Johns County.

Rulon International manufactures ceiling tiles and wall panels, like these inside the Las Vegas City Hall.

The average wage of those 20 employees will be $40,500, Glasgow said.

The project scored six points under the “existing industry” category of the county’s incentive program.

That makes Rulon eligible for expedited permitting and an economic development grant of up to 100 percent of fees paid to St. Johns County and four years of ad valorem taxes paid by Rulon on capital improvements and tangible personal property, Glasgow said.

After the economic incentive package was approved, Robison said he hoped to begin construction in June and conclude by the end of 2018. 

Glasgow said the first incentive payment would be anticipated in fiscal year 2020.

Rulon previously was based in the suburbs of Philadelphia with a plant in Georgia. It now has most of its operations in St. Augustine, except for the wood panels, which are made in Dayton, Ohio.

Robison said the company looked at four states when it was planning to move, and concluded that St. Augustine was the best fit because the leaders at Rulon liked the area and thought it would be a good place to do business and attract employees.

Update:  The St. Johns County Commission economic development website reproduces this St. Augustine Record article:


Rulon International completes plant expansion

By Colleen Jones August 22, 2019

Rulon International, an industry leader in the manufacturing of suspended wood ceiling and acoustical wall systems, marked another milestone Wednesday in the company’s nearly four- decade history.

The St. Augustine-based company recently completed an expansion of its on-site plant, increasing the footprint of its 85,000-square-foot headquarters by another 27,000 square feet.

In doing so, the company is adding about 20 more manufacturing jobs. The plant currently employs about 140 people.

The St. Johns County Commission approved a $129,000 economic incentive package for the expansion. The $3 million project added more floor space and material storage areas to the warehouse.

Wayne Robison, president and CEO, spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday about Rulon International’s beginnings and how the company was able to scale its growth so successfully.

Robison, who was in the roofing and coating industry in the early 1980s, recalled how he met a couple of businessmen at a trade conference who were looking for a way to distribute their unique wood paneling and ceilings from the Netherlands to the U.S.

Robison was eager to incorporate it under the umbrella of his own company. “Within a couple of years, it was the tail wagging the dog,” Robison said. The company soon dropped the roofing end of the business.
“We took on the product line, and we grew,” Robison said.

Rulon International began doing stateside manufacturing out of a site in Brunswick, Georgia. After outgrowing its Georgia headquarters, Rulon opened a newly built space in the World Commerce Center north of St. Augustine in 2006. The recent expansion will allow its growth into the future.

“We can finally see the [plant] floor again,” Robison joked.

Many of the company’s high-profile clients include performing arts centers, universities, airports and museums.

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