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Jefferson County votes to pursue eminent domain at Watertown International

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Jefferson County legislators unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday night to initiate eminent domain proceedings on land adjacent to the Watertown International Airport.

The county is attempting to acquire 47 acres from William E. and Colleen J. Lawler and 153 acres from Roscoe A. Eisenhauer so that it can expand the runway at the airport by 1,000 feet. It needs the land so that it can provide the average 2,500 feet of safety clearance required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

American Eagle, a subsidiary of American Airlines that provides service at the airport, is expected to phase out the 44-passenger regional jets it currently uses in favor of 50-passenger jets sometime next year, according to county officials.

The larger jets require a longer runway, officials said.

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