The majority of HRM residents are satisfied with the quality of living in the municipality, according to a new survey presented to regional council yesterday.

Eighty-one per cent of respondents felt the Halifax Regional Municipality was either a good or a very good place to live, while 44 per cent were either somewhat or very satisfied with the overall direction of municipal government.

Conducted over a six-week period in January and February by Thinkwell Research, the report was sent to 23,400 randomly selected households in HRM. However, only 10.3 per cent of those asked to complete the survey did so.

This caused several councillors to question whether the municipal government was effectively communicating with the general public.

The survey notes 29 per cent of respondents answered they “don’t know” if they feel well represented by the current council and community council structure.

The full results of the survey are expected to be made available on the municipality’s website at www.halifax.ca later today.

Council also voted yesterday to proceed with Phase 1 in a three-phase, multimillion-dollar repair project for city hall.

Built in 1899, the building survived the 1917 Halifax Explosion with minimal damage, but a 1948 acid/steam cleaning and various other repair projects have left the building’s stone in rough condition.

According to Terry Gallagher, HRM’s manager of facility development, the first phase of the repair project will begin this spring and cost approximately $1 million.

“(Phase 1) is going to entail the restoration of the west elevation, which is the Argyle Street elevation,” Gallagher said. “We’ll be removing some of the stonework, placing new stonework and (doing) a general repair of the exterior façade.”

The total cost of the project is expected to be $6 million to $8 million, with $1.3 million contributed through federal and provincial stimulus funding.