AYER -- The MBTA is still in discussions with private landowner Phil Berry over a commuter rail issue, although the 30-day time frame to negotiate a deal is ending.

Berry put up a fence around his property at Depot Square last month after year-long discussions over an accessible pedestrian path to the station that failed to yield any result.

The fence redirected commuters to walk around the outskirts of Berry's property rather than directly through it as they usually do.

Berry took a portion fo the fence down two days later, allowing people to once again walk through his property and not alongside the tracks. At that time, MBTA spokesman Joe Peasturo said the MBTA would work out a "mutually acceptable solution" in the next 30 days.

But on Thursday afternoon, Pesaturo said the MBTA and property owner are still in discussions.

"But commuters needn't worry that the fence will be re-erected," Pesaturo said in an email.

The discussions appear to be on finding an accessible pedestrian path to the station.

The two parties, he said, are working out the final details of a permanent solution.

"One key decision has already been made: the fence will not be re-erected," he said.

The MBTA has provided the property owner with a proposed plan, Pesaturo said, and they expect to hear back from his attorney soon.

It is unclear whether the parties will reach a solution by today.

Berry could not be reached for comment.


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