WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA – A plan to lease a segment of the West Springfield, Mass., public works fleet is being supported by Mayor Edward J. Gibson and the head of the Department of Public Works, Jack L. Dowd, according to the Republican. The proposal was submitted as part of the mayor's list of capital projects for 2006. Some members of the city's Capital Program Planning Committee and City Council are opposed to the proposal, though. City Council President Edward C. Sullivan questioned the Capital Program Planning Committee about the merit of leasing equipment instead of purchasing it. Robert F.L. MacDonald, capital committee chairman, said leasing is useful in tax situations, but added that the town's tax situation doesn't require it. Gibson stated in an interview with the Republican that leasing is an option the city had not previously used for vehicles, but that it was worth a try. Gibson believes that putting the cost into the department's regular budget rather than the capital budget gives a better picture of the actual operating costs of a department. He also said the city may do better financially by leasing rather than bonding.