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State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss criticized the Afula municipality for building an athletic center on a plot of land earmarked for a school.

According to Lindenstrauss' report, the municipality failed to take the proper administrative procedures in approving the 80-dunam facility built in Afula Illit last year.

"The decision-making process surrounding the project was partial and flawed," the report said. "The city council was not presented with information about the entire project, its cost, the funding sources, and the duration of construction."

Lindenstrauss ruled that the municipality violated the terms of its leasing contract with the Israel Lands Administration, since the plot of land was designated to host a school. The municipality argued in response that zoning laws permitted building an athletic center there.

The comptroller determined that the project should have cost NIS 18.7 million, but that actual construction costs exceeded NIS 30 million. The report noted that the planner chosen to head the project was selected in contravention of proper regulations. In addition, the tender was given to a contractor who did not make the lowest bid.

The comptroller's office also found that nearly a quarter (23 percent ) of all businesses in Afula lack the necessary permits. In addition, 128 restaurants and four of the 17 gas stations within the city lack permits.