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Watchdog group wants Gilbert to close rec center


PHOENIX (AP) — Some Arizona cities and towns are watching with vested interest about what happens in a legal challenge involving a Gilbert recreation center.

A conservative watchdog group is demanding that Gilbert cease operations at its popular Freestone Recreation Center over concerns that the $11 million public facility violates state law and unfairly competes with private fitness centers.

Goldwater Institute attorneys say they hope to send a message across the state that compels governments “to stay within their constitutional bounds.”

They say they believe Gilbert has overstepped in building the public fitness center.

The Arizona Republic reports that the Goldwater Institute has asked Gilbert either to shutter the recreation center or to sell it to a private company.

Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa and Tempe all have similar recreational facilities.

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