Gordon was first incorporated in 1872 and is located in Houston County, in southeastern Alabama, neighboring Georgia and Florida. The small community was first established as a trading post on the Chattahoochee River. It became a major port in 1928 when steamboats traveled the river carrying cotton and bringing products to local merchants. The city offers residents a suburban rural mix feel.

Large trees and beautiful churches surround the small town. Although the town is small, it has faced numerous obstacles, including damages from a hurricane that ripped through the area in 2018, changes in administrative positions, and financial stability.

The town of Gordon, AL is working with the Environmental Team at Communities Unlimited for it's water/wastewater system to stay in compliance and insure it's finances are up-to-date

The town of Gordon has a population of approximately 294 residents and owns/operates the water and wastewater system that serves the residents. The drinking water system is a groundwater system that consists of one well and one storage tank. The town serves about 138 water connections, and the wastewater system consists of collection lines, lift stations, and a lagoon. The town has around 127 connections to the wastewater system and was initially funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In 2019, the town appointed a new mayor committed to correcting issues the community was facing and helping them improve their financial situation. Communities Unlimited (CU) contacted the Town of Gordon at the request of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) and the US Department of Agriculture – Rural Development (USDA-RD). They started working with the Town of Gordon to assist them with completing and submitting their drinking water and wastewater compliance reports and work with them on getting compliant. CU staff worked alongside the mayor, town clerk, and utility billing programmer to get forms generated by the billing program. CU assisted the town with a rate analysis and advised them to increase rates for both the water and wastewater systems to sustain them.

The mayor and the town clerk needed more experience and minimum training in the drinking water and wastewater field. They used their time to learn about the systems.

The Town of Gordon dealt with financial setbacks and compliance issues throughout the next few years. CU continued to work with the system to help move them closer to financial stability by assisting the mayor and council with understanding their financial position.

In 2020, Mayor Charles Dismuke became the town’s newest mayor and began working with CU.

In early 2023, the town of Gordon reached out to CU for a loan to assist in auditing and bookkeeping services. During a recent audit, Gordon had yet to receive any financial reports from previous years for the auditor to review, so the town had to hire a bookkeeper to enter the documentation into QuickBooks, using bank statements and billing registers as source documents. This caused a delay in completing the audits on time and added some financial stress to the system.
The town needed the funds to pay for the bookkeeper and auditor for the work they had completed. The auditor could not proceed with the current year because they needed to complete the previous year’s audits, and both needed to be paid before proceeding with the current year. The town also needed funds to upgrade the system.

The town needed funding and knew they could count on CU.

A loan from Communities Unlimited would allow the Town of Gordon to pay for the auditing services and receive the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) funding to improve the wastewater system. The Town of Gordon closed on its CU loan at the end of May 2023.

Town Hall sign in Gordon, AL
The town of Gordon, AL is working with Communities Unlimited's Environmental and Lending Teams to insure it's water system is operating correctly and efficiently.

The project includes the rehabilitation or replacement of 13,000 linear feet of piping and 325 feet of vertical piping associated with maintenance holes that will reduce inflow and infiltration (I&I) in the system, reducing sanitary sewer overflows, lowering sediment intrusion into the collection system, lowering treatment facility needs and protecting the environment. These upgrades to the system will ensure compliance with the communities National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).

The Town of Gordon Mayor Dismuke worked with CU Alabama State Coordinator, Dinah Foreman, and she advised them through the process.




“Dinah has helped us get some things done; she stepped in and made things simple.”

— Charles Dismuke, Mayor, Gordon, AL

Charles Dismuke

“Since I began working with the Town of Gordon in 2019, they have struggled to maintain adequate water and wastewater service for their residents. The loan they received from CU will move them closer to financial stability.” Dinah Foreman concluded.

The Town of Gordon’s mayor and administration continue to work with CU to resolve their issues.