Lawmaker listening session focuses on Drs. Foster and Smith closureSubmitted: 01/29/2019
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Lawmaker listening session focuses on Drs. Foster and Smith closure
RHINELANDER - Rhinelander would love another large employer to come to town, taking the place of Drs. Foster and Smith (DFS).

That's not on the table right now. But if it was, Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua) said he'd consider exploring tax breaks for that company.

It was one of the things Tiffany and Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) told the crowd at a listening session Tuesday in Rhinelander.

"Rhinelander is still the hub of the north. Everything happens and centers around Rhinelander. I think there's good things yet to come in Rhinelander," Swearingen said.

Earlier this month, Petco, which owns DFS, announced it was closing most of its operations. The move impacts 289 employees.

"Does it hurt our community? Yes, it hurts our community. But sometimes, when you get hurt, you get stronger, too. That's truly what I hope for," Rhinelander Mayor Chris Frederickson said. "In the absence of great prosperity, challenges come, and when they come, that's opportunity for us to stand and rise."

State-funded unemployment and workforce employees started meeting with DFS workers this week. A job fair is being planned for the end of February.

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