JACKSON HOLE, WYO \u2013 County commissioners chose to go with Mercill Partners as the builder for affordable housing at 105 Mercill Avenue\u2014a decision that appears to leave the Children\u2019s Museum out in the cold, at least for now.\r\n\r\nAt a special meeting earlier this week, commissioners liked Mercill Partners\u2019 use of underground parking, Mark Newcomb calling the proposal \u201cimpressive [in the] way it makes the numbers work.\u201d But Newcomb expressed reservation about any proposal that did not intentionally include the Jackson Hole Children\u2019s Museum on the ground floor. Only a plan submitted by the Housing Trust did so.\r\n\r\nFinalists for Mercill build:\r\n\r\n \tWestmount Development\r\n \tJackson Hole Community Housing Trust\r\n \tOnion Flats\r\n \tMercill Partners\r\n\r\nChair Natalia Macker said she was not willing to make the Children\u2019s Museum a sticking point in her decision and didn\u2019t think it was appropriate to make its inclusion in any plan for affordable housing.\r\n\r\n\u201cI don\u2019t think finding a home for the Children\u2019s Museum is the top criteria for how we are making our decision today,\u201d Macker said at Tuesday\u2019s meeting, adding the focus should be on getting housing built. \u201c I would caution us not to make a decision based on the Children\u2019s Museum.\u201d\r\n\r\nMacker added that anyone going into the ground floor\u2014and there might be plenty of interest from social services organizations in the valley, Macker assured\u2014would have to have an equal shot at doing so through an RFP.\r\n\r\nCommissioner Mark Barron agreed, saying he wasn\u2019t opposed to the Children\u2019s Museum but worried about its ability to perform, financially. \u201cI hope they can,\u201d he said.\r\n\r\nA proposal by Onion Flats was also praised by commissioners. Macker, for one, said she liked the contractor\u2019s forward-thinking proposal.\r\n\r\nAny notion of committing to having the Children\u2019s Museum on the ground floor of a housing project on Mercill was quelled as beyond the scope of the decision at hand. The county has the first option to purchase the ground floor for some 18 months. Commissioner Greg Epstein estimated that would be a potential $5 million price tag if they wanted to buy it for the museum or some other institutional use.\r\n\r\nCommissioner Luther Propst backed Newcomb on the community\u2019s need for the museum or some form of daycare. He also liked the Housing Trust\u2019s plan for some larger units which Propst thought would help local families stay longer in the community.\r\n\r\nWith no ability to lock in commitment for the museum, even a good faith head nod, Newcomb caved and the Mercill Partners proposal was voted for 4-1, with Propst in opposition.\r\n\r\nThe Housing Department will work with the developer in coming up with a final design plan for review in September.