In 2017, the Cooperative continued to make significant investments in the vegetation management program. In fact, the Cooperative completed trimming and clearing of vegetation in the Carter, Creal Springs, Harrisburg, Johnston City and Pittsburg substations. As we have certainly experienced in the past with major storms, a sound vegetation management program is crucial to your Cooperative's ability to reduce risks and outages associated with major weather events and to maintain a reliable electric supply for members.
In summary, the Cooperative expects to end the year 2017 in sound financial condition. At this time, I am also pleased to inform you, as Cooperative members and owners, that your Cooperative's Board of Trustees approved the retirement and return of $1.34 million of Capital Credits to the members. The capital credits that were returned were from the years 1982 & 2016. This means that if you were a Cooperative member in either or both of these years, you should have received a check in December for those capital credits. Over the past eight years, your Cooperative has retired and returned over $14 million to Cooperative members.
In 2018, your Cooperative will continue to make the necessary investments in the distribution facilities that serve your energy by rebuilding aging infrastructure, replacing degraded poles and performing other maintenance activities including pole testing, regulator maintenance, breaker maintenance and sectionalizing in order to help ensure a safe and reliable electric supply. The Cooperative will also continue to make significant investments in the vegetation management program that is crucial to the reliability of service that you receive. Beginning this month, your Cooperative will receive a small increase in the cost of wholesale power from Southern Illinois Power Cooperative that will be reflected in the wholesale power cost adjustment charge.
In 2018, your Cooperative remains committed to finding new and better ways to serve its members. Your Cooperative will continue to work diligently to improve and enhance the level of service and reliability that you receive.
See you next month and as always, "We'll keep the lights on for you."