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COLUMBIA - Boone County Commissioner Skip Elkin said Monday the county's budget is ahead of schedule. He told KOMU 8 that he expects the budget will be finalized and ready for public hearing and comment in mid-November.

"After that, we expect to vote and approve the budget by the end of December. Our deadline for having a budget as required by law is January 10th, but I think we'll have it done well before that."

He added that an increase in sales tax revenues has county departments making big-ticket purchases that had been delayed during the past few years when the county saw a decrease in revenue. For the sheriff's department, that means replacing aging vehicles and purchasing new forensic cell-phone software.

Tom Schauwecker has been the county assessor since 1989, and he said the process works well.

"The meetings between each department, the auditor, and the commission take the surprise out of voting on the budget. It's a process that is painful and professional, kind of like a football team. We're a unit and it's not about any one department."