Oklahoma residents say eminent domain could force them off their lands

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LINCOLN COUNTY, Okla. - Some residents in Lincoln County say a railroad company is trying to take their land away from them.

Watco Railroad Company wants to build a track on a 17 mile stretch of land so they can move crude oil between Davenport and Cushing.

Residents say if they refuse to sell their land, the company could just come in and take it.

Patsy and Roy Vaughan say country living is a dream come true after moving here from New Mexico, but that dream turned into a nightmare when they received a letter from Watco Railroad Company's attorney, saying they want to build a railway to haul crude oil across their land.

The company offered about $3,000 an acre, but the Vaughn's didn't accept.

Now they fear Watco will just take their land because Oklahoma law allows railways eminent domain.

In a statement Watco recognizes, that as a possibility.

"We hope that will (sic) be able to come to fair and reasonable agreements with each property owner before pursuing other options. We plan to continue to sit down with each of them to continue those conversations." said Jeff Van Schaick Asst. Vice President of Watco

The Vaughan's say the railroad plans to put in a new track splitting their land in half,  if that happens they say it will destroy their business.

Roy Vaughn breeds show cattle and says it requires a tranquil environment to ensure the embryos survive.

If the railway is built, Roy Vaughn believes his job will be nearly impossible.

At this point the Vaughan's say they're out of options.

"We certainly don't want people to think we're against development or bringing more jobs into the state or into the county, but I don't really want them to take away my job and my livelihood and give it to someone else." said Roy Vaughan.

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