Metro taxpayers are footing the bill for more than 300 homeowners who have neglected to take care of their properties.
Some of the property owners died or live out of state. Many more have financial problems and simply walk away, leaving yards that become collection zones for garbage, high grass and pests like snakes and rats.
Metro Codes officials say they try and locate the owners, but often it proves impossible.
In the meantime, they send lists to Metro Public Works to beautify as many properties as they can.
Metro Public Works uses mostly free labor provided by the court system.
Citizens who have been sentenced by a judge to community service are often teamed up with beautification officials and taught to push lawnmowers and run weed eaters.
However, it's the taxpayers who foot the bill for gas, equipment and repairs and for training and the supervisors who handle the work crews.
Lawrence Jackson is the supervisor of community service programs in Davidson County.
"You can get rats and insects and there is a probability, snakes," he told Nashville's News 2, adding, "That tall grass is a habitat for snakes and ants and sometimes a property like this, people illegally dump."
Public Works Officials say they have a list with 300 properties that keeps work crews going six days a week.
They often work on private properties instead of working to clean up trash from roadways and alleys.
In a statement, Bill Penn, the city's director of codes, said, "When we get a complaint, we investigate. We make an effort to contact property owner. Very often we are not successful. The owners are just not available so rather than let it sit, the ones that are vacant, we refer them to public works. We get grass cut. While we may continue to look for the owners it is often a challenge for us, when properties are not locally owned. People just walk off from them. We might not be able to serve a warrant."