MADAWASKA — Communities in the St. John Valley region of far northern Maine are getting $250,000 in grant funding to expand development and tourism opportunities.

The Northern Border Regional Commission grant will be used to expand recreational facilities in Madawaska, St. Agatha and Frenchville. They’ll be matched with state and local funds for a total project cost of $692,500.

In announcing the grant, Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe said the money will support job creation and infrastructure improvements while strengthening Maine’s rural economy.

The Northern Border Regional Commission provides competitive grants for economic development in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.