In a final gesture before leaving the mayor's office for the last time after almost four decades in office, departing Ashdod Mayor Zvi Zilker has announced a tender for a 600-unit residential building project for young couples, reports www.mynet.co.il. The project will contain up to 280 apartments to be sold at reduced prices and a further 80 apartments to be rented to young couples. According to the report, Zilker and Housing Ministry officials reached agreement on the project in October, and since then the city has been seeking a permit from the Interior Ministry to pass the necessary by-laws for the project to go ahead. Last week, city legal advisers announced that the permit had been approved and Zilker instructed city officials to issue the tender. Zilker, who was first elected mayor in 1969, has been in office since then, apart from a five-year period in the 1980s. But he was defeated by Yehiel Lasry in the November 11 municipal elections.