Charleston City Council gave final reading of the city's $172.8 million budget for 2014 on Tuesday, as Mayor Joe Riley returned to lead the meeting after his hip replacement surgery.
Riley had the operation on his left hip almost four weeks ago. He said Tuesday that his recovery is ahead of progress, though he termed his condition as "not pain-free."
The final reading on the budget was the last City Council action of the year. There is no property tax increase for city residents but the budget does include a 2.5 percent cost of living adjustment for city employees.
For the resident of an owner-occupied home valued at $200,000, and who is under age 65, the taxes paid to the city are an estimated $498. The current year comparison is $504, according to city figures.
A major funding increase is to add nearly 40 new employees for the fire and police departments.
The $172.8 million budget is also about 5.7 percent greater than the 2013 allocation, with part of the growth attributed to a continued increase in building permits and business licenses.
The budget was passed this month because Charleston operates a fiscal year that begins January 1.
Tuesday's meeting was heavy on end-of-year recognitions. Also honored were former Summerville Mayor Berlin Myers, and the 1955 Cannon Street All-Stars youth baseball players who, as team of black players, had been snubbed from their goal of playing in the Little League World Series that year.
It was also the last official City Council meeting for member Blake Hallman, who was defeated in November's election. He will be replaced next year by newcomer Rodney Williams in District 2, West Ashley.
Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551