Few homeowners in southern Alberta who are eligible for a government buyout have taken the province up on the offer to move.

Provincial officials say out of the 254 people who live in designated floodway zones, only 46 have agreed to take the buyout for the full amount of their last municipal property assessment to help with relocation costs.

By Saturday's deadline, another 55 said they were interested in the offer.

“I would have preferred to have seen a higher number, but people have the opportunity to make that decision and we respect that,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths Monday.

A total of 153 people did not take the buyout, which means they can get money to help rebuild but will not be eligible for disaster assistance in any future floods.

Officials with Alberta's Flood Recovery Task Force say negotiations will continue in the coming months. The program has so far cost taxpayers about $42 million.​