PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture will give $251,000 in grants and loans to three rural Maine communities and the Passamaquoddy tribe for local projects.

The agency says it will give the tribe $99,500 in the form of a rural business enterprise grant to assist in launching Passamaquoddy Maple Syrup Ventures.

The USDA is also selecting Shaw Public Library in Greenville to receive a $46,500 loan and $50,000 grant to make improvements to the library. Piscataquis Regional YMCA in Dover-Foxcroft will receive $35,000 for upgrades to heating and ventilation systems.

The USDA is also giving a $17,000 loan and $3,000 grant to Tri-Town Ambulance and Emergency Services in West Paris. The company provides emergency services in West Paris and Sumner.

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