With less than six weeks remaining until the deadline for homeowners in designated floodways to agree to sell their land to the province, the Alberta government has announced it has already purchased 71 properties at a cost of nearly $80 million as a result of the floodway relocation program.

The number of provincial buyouts, and the cost of purchasing floodways properties, are expected to increase by the August 30 deadline as a number of homeowners have expressed interest in buyouts and are currently in talks with the province.

While the provincial government has assumed the titles of 71 properties and all 71 homes remain standing. The province has decided the plots of land will not be returned to their natural state until environmental and structural assessments of each property are performed. If an assessment determines a home does not require demolition, a decision will be made to salvage, sell or move the structure.

The property assessments are scheduled to begin in 2015.

Some residents who have chosen to stay in designated floodways are concerned the buyouts their neighbours accepted could have a negative impact on the future of their respective communities and feel the funding of the buyouts is money which could have been spent on flood mitigation.

With files from CTV's Rylee Carlson