Updated: February 28, 2014 at 5:25 pm
It was a flood that closed The Dulcimer Shop in Manitou Springs after 40 years of providing custom-made wooden instruments, music lessons and community service.
But it will be the Internal Revenue Service that shuts the shop's wood mill, still located in the basement of the shuttered store at 740 Manitou Ave.
Owner Bud Ford Jr. has nine days left to raise $25,000 to pay taxes owed to the federal government before IRS agents seize his mill working equipment. His son, Bud Ford III, posted an appeal for help on Wednesday on the crowd-funding website indiegogo.com.
"The Dulcimer Shop is done, however our woodshop is not, and right now we are trying to stop the vintage wood mill machinery from being seized at pennies on the dollar," Ford III wrote on the site.
Ford III's appeal to the public does not explain how his father's company fell behind on taxes, and he said he does not know the specifics because has not worked at the store for about three years.
This much he does knows: The entire $25,000 must be paid in one lump sum, he said, or the IRS still will seize and auction his father's equipment, leaving the family to pay whatever is left of the tax bill after the auction's end. Ford Jr. did not return calls to the Gazette inquiring about his tax situation.
As of Friday, the community fundraising site had brought in $12,868 with nine days left to raise an additional $12,1332.
"All funds raised here will go directly to paying this IRS bill and everything helps," the website states. "Even if we can't reach the $25,000 goal, it helps us to make the bill that much smaller."
Ford Jr. started his dulcimer shop 44 years ago in Cripple Creek, said Bud Ford III. His father moved the shop to Manitou in 1973, where it was a fixture on the main drag of the town. But last August's flood deposited three feet of mud on the basement floor, and the store was shuttered.
"The Dulcimer Shop has been put out of business by the Waldo Canyon flood," says the fundraising plea on Indiegogo.
The site says the business continued to pay its employees, which didn't leave enough left over to pay taxes.
Ford III said his father's milling shop has about 15 woodworking machines, and if family and friends had not helped remove the mud and clean the machinery, the mill shop also would have been lost. And he's overwhelmed by the amount of help his father has received from the community.
When I started this, I thought we would get a couple hundred bucks," he said. "I didn't expect it would go as large as it has."
Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275