Brownwood City Council members approved Tuesday the sale of land in the Brownwood Industrial Park to a company that wants to build a medical waste disposal facility.

Council members can cancel the contract of the 3.8-acre tract, located in the Brownwood Industrial Park, if American Medical Waste Management Inc. fails to obtain the required federal, state and local permits. The selling prices is $5,000 per acre for a total price of $19,195.

The company faces up to an 18-month process in obtaining a permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, council members were told. The company wants to build a 10,000-square-foot facility and hire about 15 employees, council members were told.

The council approved the land sale after four citizens citizens asked questions and expressed concerns during a public hearing.

“This is not a lemonade stand being proposed,” Brad Confer told council members. “ … We’re putting the cart before the horse. We’re going into this blindly.”

Confer asked the council to delay approving the sale, saying the council has too little information on topics including emissions, the types and amounts of medical waste that will be disposed of and where it will come from.

“The regulatory process is quite long. This is a highly regulated industry,” Laura Garey, a consultant for the company, told council members.

American Medical Waste Management has several contracts with hospitals, medical clinics and private employers in Texas and New Mexico to dispose of their medical wastes, council members were told. If the company builds a facility in Brownwood, waste from Texas and New Mexico will be trucked to the facility, where it will be placed in an enclosed grinder system and taken to the landfill, council members were told.

The company will request authorization in its permit application to dispose of up to 50 tons of medical waste a day, although the company currently disposes of about 100 tons a month, council members were told.

“There is nobody more independent and more stringent than the (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality),” said council member Jerry DeHay, responding to concerns from Confer and three other citizens. “They look at every single little bitty piece of what you do. They are very sensitive to public input.”

In other business, council members:

Approved the application of former Brownwood police officer Bryan Bell to serve as a reserve officer. Saw proposed designs from the Brownwood Municipal Police Association for the emblems/logos to be placed on patrol cars. Approved the Brown County Appraisal District’s appraisal and collection budgets for 2008. Approved an ordinance on second and third readings closing two alleys and First Street between Schroeder Lane and Willis Creek. Approved on second and third readings an ordinance establishing a Park and Recreation Advisory Board and setting its duties and responsibilities. Approved an ordinance on first/final reading amending the classification of police officers by identifying patrol division, non-patrol division and adding police recruit positions. Authorized the mayor’s signature on a contract to sell property in the Brownwood Industrial Park to HIFAM Investments III, LLC. Approved amending the contract with Freese and Nichols for $10,025 to provide site plans and updated cost estimates for a new recreation complex being considered by the Parks Committee. Authorized the mayor’s signature on a rental contract for use of the coliseum for Howard Payne University’s 2007-’08 volleyball and basketball seasons.