(a) An order permitting entry under Section 18-1A-51 shall include a preliminary assessment by the circuit court of the probable amount that will fairly compensate the owner and any other person in lawful possession or physical occupancy of the property for damages for physical injury to the property, and for substantial interference with its possession or use, found likely to be caused by the entry and activities authorized by the order, and shall require the condemnor other than the state to enter into bond in double the amount of such preliminary assessment, with good and sufficient sureties, to pay such damages as the property owner or other person in lawful possession or physical occupancy of the property may sustain. The bond must be given before entry is made.
(b) Unless sooner disbursed by agreement or court order, the amount of the bond sufficient to cover the damages sustained shall be paid to those determined by the circuit court to be entitled thereto upon termination of the activities as permitted in subsection (a) of Section 18-1A-50. The circuit court for good cause may extend the period of retention.
(c) Upon the filing of an application for condemnation within the period of retention specified in subsection (b) naming as defendants the persons for whose benefit the bond was made or their successors in title and seeking to condemn for the public use for which entry was authorized hereunder, then the damages for injury to the property or for substantial interference with its possession and use shall be merged with and included within the compensation and damages ascertained in such condemnation proceeding, and the bond shall be refunded to the condemnor. In the event no such condemnation proceeding is instituted prior to the expiration of the period of retention, then the amount of damages for physical injury to the property and for substantial interference with its possession or use shall be determined as in other civil cases by the circuit court or, on demand of either party, by a jury and the award shall include interest at a rate equal to the rate allowed to be charged on money judgments as set forth in Section 8-8-10 as amended at the date of the final order in the circuit court, with the interest to be computed by the circuit court.
If the deposit is paid out prior to filing the condemnation action any such payment covering areas condemned shall be credited by the court to the final payment by the condemnor.