WATERVILLE — Seven organizations and a Native American tribe in Maine are slated to receive more than $5 million in federal grants and loans that are intended to boost rural institutions.

The largest of the awards is a $2.7 million loan to Regional Transportation Association of Westbrook to construct a new office building and garage. The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians in Littleton has been selected to receive $50,000 to improve the community center it operates on tribal lands in Houlton.

The money is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

USDA rural development Maine state director Timothy Hobbs said the awards are an investment “in critical services that support, education, fire and safety training and community services.”

Children’s Discovery Museum in Waterville will receive a loan of $692,500 and grant of $67,500 to purchase and renovate a building for exhibits and programs.

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