SAN DIEGO - In a unanimous vote, the Public Safety & Neighborhood Services Committee directed the City Manager's Office to seek bids and negotiate a contract to lease 50 fire engines, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. The council would have to give the go-ahead for any contract. The engine fleet could be modernized more quickly and economically through leasing, according to fire officials. There are 250 emergency vehicles, with several of them more than 20 years old and from different manufacturers. Lease payments can vary yearly, from $200,000 next year to $4.35 million in 2025. The figures are estimates, cautions a report. So as not to provide an advantage to bidders, the city is reluctant to release detailed figures. Inconsistent funding from the city has forced the use of rigs beyond their recommended life span, according to fire officials.