By Kathy Jefcoats
Divers continue to search for the body of a 55-year-old Morrow businessman believed to have drowned after falling from a boat on Lake Spivey Sunday night.
Bill Costner owned and operated Sign-A-Rama on Citizens Parkway. He was engaged to Janet Drosky, who was also his business partner. The couple was on the lake with another couple on the Fourth of July to watch fireworks.
Henry fire Capt. Sabrina Puckett said Tuesday that recovery efforts continued for a second day. Puckett said dive teams from Newton and Spalding counties and Peachtree City are on standby. Underwater cameras will be used if Costner's body is not recovered by today, she said.
Rangers with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources were also on the scene as were members of the Clayton County Fire Department.
Officials with the Henry Chamber of Commerce expressed condolences to Costner's family Tuesday, saying he was a dedicated, active member of the community. In addition to the Henry Chamber, Costner was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club in Clayton County.
"He was a very hard worker," said Al Hosford, Henry Chamber chairman of the board of directors. "We were looking for something else to help raise revenue about four years ago and he took it upon himself to get this golf tournament started. It is now one of the largest revenue raisers in the state."
Costner was serving his second three-year term on the Chamber's Board of Directors and was on the golf committee for four years.
Chamber Executive Director Kay Pippin is on vacation this week but took a break to talk about Costner's contributions to the Henry community.
"Bill Costner was a kind, gentle and gracious man who found joy in work and play," she said. "He loved his community and served it well. We will miss him. Our prayers are with his beloved Janet Drosky, his children, family and friends."
Hosford said he was dumbfounded by the news.
"This really hits close to home," said Hosford. "I was watching the news and knew this had happened but didn't know it was him. I never dreamed anything like that would happen. He was a good guy, kind-hearted, never heard him say a negative word. He gave a lot back to the community."
Straddling Henry and Clayton counties, Lake Spivey is located in a subdivision just south of Stockbridge. Hosford said he believes Costner and Drosky owned a lot on the lake.
Puckett said Costner was sitting on the edge of the boat while operating it and "made a sharp turn at a high rate of speed," causing him to fall into the water around midnight. The three passengers were not reported injured.
Alcohol may also have contributed to the accident, Puckett said.