I frequently use this space to talk about how we define Tipmont as an essential services provider. We continued our journey in 2017 by focusing on those services that provide the best value while also staying consistent with our areas of expertise.
It was rewarding to spend time with so many of you at our new Kilowatts & Brats events last spring and fall. Your involvement in our cooperative is critical to our success. We look forward to continuing them in 2018.
In 2017, Tipmont hooked up 786 new service locations. At a time where many rural electric cooperatives are experiencing flat or declining growth, we are very grateful for a thriving local economy.
Our crews rebuilt 19.5 miles of overhead line and converted 2.75 miles of overhead line to underground line in the Watkins Glen and Riverbluffs subdivisions. We also extended underground primary in seven new subdivisions or extensions of existing ones with the potential of serving over 230 new meters.
Our community grant programs, Operation Round Up and EnviroWatts combined to contribute over $95,000 back into our local communities. Recipients included Friendship House, Gifts of Grace Adoption Support Center, Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau, Wabash River Enhancement Corporation, and Camp Cullom.
An estimated 1,500 people attended our 78th Annual Meeting in July. I’m very grateful to each of you who made time to attend. I hope to see you on July 28, 2018 at McCutcheon High School.
In September, we sent six lineman to Georgia and Florida to help rebuild their electric system following Hurricane Irma. Also, our tree trimming crews partnered with arborists from Purdue, DNR and others to donate an estimated $30,000 of work to Indiana Veterans’ Home as part of the Saluting Branches initiative.
We look ahead to 2018 with a focus on empowering you to be more efficient and productive. There are some exciting initiatives just over the horizon and I look forward to sharing more with you in the coming months.