Schuylkill County Commissioners on Wednesday hired Waste Management of Pennsylvania for $133,794 to collect trash from county buildings for three years $22,012 less than what it is paid now for the same job.

Waste Management, located in Lancaster, was the sole bidder for the contract, which starts in May.

The contract includes removing trash from the court house, the prison, the human services building, Rest Haven, the adult probation building and the Mahanoy Senior Center.

Commissioners Chairman Frank J. Staudenmeier was absent; Commissioners George F. Halcovage Jr. and Gary J. Hess voted in favor of the contract.

In other matters Wednesday, Commissioners Halcovage and Hess agreed buy 38,880 small American flags to decorate soldiers' graves on Memorial Day.

The request was made by Veteran's Office director Brenda Zechman.

The American-made flags, at 52 cents each, will be purchased through a cooperative bid with Luzerne, Lackawanna, Montour and Wyoming counties from Metro Flags, Dover, N.J.

Commissioners also agreed to buy a $51,318 liability insurance policy for the county nursing home at Rest Haven, Schuylkill Haven, from Pelican Insurance.

The one-year policy is retroactive to March 1.

In other matters, the county will remove the recycling bins from the Hometown Fire Company in Rush Township and take them to other sites.

Rush Township officials on Feb. 20 announced the March 3 launch of curbside recycling, with materials being picked up at the same time as trash.

Also on Wednesday, county 911 center director Scott Krater told commissioners that the county's $16, 388,145 narrowband transition is progressing smoothly and is expected to be complete by July 10.

County finance director Paul Buber said outside the meeting that the county so far has spent $12,478,813 of the money allocated for the project, leaving a balance of $3,909,331.

The project will bring the county into compliance with a Federal Communications Commission mandate for a reduction in the radio frequency to 12.5 kHz bandwidth to allow for more radio channels for emergencies.