School odors waft into court

Residents are demanding that the court force the city to act immediately to fix the sewage system.

The powerful stench emanating from Kfar Saba's Golda Elementary School has wafted all the way to the Tel Aviv District Court, with residents demanding that the court force the city to act immediately to fix the sewage system, reports The residents say their lives have been "a nightmare" for the past 18 months because of the odors, and the city should act immediately so that the problem will be solved by the start of the coming school year this September. Children at the Golda Elementary School in the center of Kfar Saba and residents in the surrounding area first complained of unpleasant smells a year and a half ago, with many people suffering from fainting spells, dizziness, nausea, and stinging eyes. The school was closed for several weeks and the municipality hired a professional company to investigate the odors. It found a high concentration of hydrogen sulfide emanating from the sewerage system at the school, and recommended several major repairs to the pipelines. But the city has not yet acted on the recommendations. According to the report, residents have now turned to the court to ask it to force the city to act. In their lawsuit, the residents' lawyers said, "not even Kafka could have created a story like this," in which poisonous gases were making people ill and preventing children from learning, and yet the city was not making the recommended repairs. The lawsuit said that while at a council meeting two months ago the city had announced it would solve the problem, it had done nothing since then, and had not allocated a budget, set a schedule, announced a tender or even begun planning the work. "The conduct of the city of Kfar Saba is not just defective in its extreme unreasonableness, but also demonstrates grave neglect that endangers and harms the health of residents, students and teachers ... and demands intervention by the court," the lawsuit said. The city has yet to present its defense, and no date for a hearing was reported.