Vale city crews hustle to finish street paving work

J.R. Lattin, Vale street supervisor, monitors crews recently repaving stretches of downtown streets.

By Pat Caldwell

The Enterprise

VALE – At a casual glance street pavement work may appear to be a thankless job.

In the summer heat, hot asphalt fumes drift up from scorching roadways and envelopes workers in a haze of odors mixed with sweat and grime.

But for Vale’s J.R. Lattin, a street job is all about perspective.

Take one recent Tuesday.

As the Vale street supervisor stood at the corner of A Street West and Court Street North, he occasionally stepped out to direct traffic while his crew worked to put down a layer of asphalt.

“Believe it or not, I get more compliments than complaints,” he said with a quick grin.

Lattin, 56, is no . . .